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One day

By January 19th, 2014Uncategorized8 min read
sister-in-law died this morning. I am still struggling to come to grips with
the reality of this. The ring of my phone had roused me from sleep in the wee
hours of the morning. I dragged myself out of bed very reluctantly, somewhat
annoyed at being woken up so early, particularly as I had not been able to get
to sleep till past midnight. What did I know? It wasn’t a number in my
phonebook so I put the phone on silent and then went back to bed. Something wouldn’t
let me rest though. I began to imagine that the call could have been from
someone in distress, someone who had been robbed and who was trying to reach me
on someone else’s phone. I distinctly heard the Lord tell me to go and pick the
phone. Sleepy-eyed and foot-dragging, I got to my desk to see that I had just missed
another call from the same number. I called back severally but the call would
just not go through. I guess by then I knew something was wrong; I just couldn’t
have figured the ‘what’… or more specifically ‘who’. Yes, I knew by then that
something had shifted somewhere and I mentally braced myself for bad news. Even
as I carried on with my Bible study and quiet time with the Lord, I would break
every so often to try the number again.

was just rounding up my study when another call came in from another
sister-in-law. The way she said my name confirmed my instincts. Then she asked
where her brother was. In response I said to her, ‘Just tell me what has happened’.
Long story short, we find ourselves today dealing as a family with a new born
beautiful baby girl… and a dead mother, sister, sister-in-law, daughter, and friend.
It’s all so surreal, but such are the paradoxes of life! In speaking to my
brother-in-law, we found ourselves saying ‘sorry’ repeatedly, not having the
nerve to say ‘Congratulations’ on the birth of his new baby girl, at least not
yet. I guess those who have found themselves in similar situations will
understand. When my brother-in-law died on Christmas day, I certainly didn’t have
it in me to wish my sister and her husband a ‘Merry Christmas’.  Likewise this morning, we were short of words
to speak to a man who had just lost his best friend, his life partner, his
champion, the mother of his three (now four) little children. All we had to
offer were words of assurance that God only knows why He called His daughter at
this time, and that he (and indeed all of us) must somehow find it in ourselves
to accept God’s ultimate will and purpose.

have been thinking all day about the last time I spoke to her. We had wished
each other a Happy New Year, asked after all our children, and then made a
fresh commitment to try to stay more in touch with each other in this year. Last
year was quite busy for everyone and somehow we clearly dropped the ball on
regular enough communication with each other. We laughed about her heavily
pregnant state, and then committed to speaking with each other again once she
put to bed in the next couple of weeks. What did we know? We had just said the
very last goodbye. Sigh!

in the middle of my grief, I feel a sense of urgency to speak to you and remind
you that, in this year especially, we need to factor ourselves and the things
that are important to us into our programs. We need to take time off and simply
breathe in the essence of life, being alive, and truly living. We need to keep
our eyes on the things that are of eternal value. We need to be sure that we
are working towards being rich in the things that really and truly count from
an eternal perspective. Our true riches, worth and impact barely have anything
to do with our work and the many things we keep ourselves so busy with and keep
striving for. I was listening to a program by Joel Osteen this morning and he
spoke to the fact that on the day any of us is called, there will still be a
long to-do list somewhere that will then never be done; there will likely be
emails that would then never get attended/responded to; for some, there will be
hard-won projects that will never then be executed at all (or at least not by them);
and without a doubt, for the greater percentage of us there will be intended
quality time that would then never be spent with our loved ones, on applying ourselves
to our passions… or – most importantly, to the development of a deeper
relationship with God. One day… it will all simply be over, and we need to
constantly be reminded that we have absolutely no idea when that ‘one day’ will
be for each of us!

that ‘one day’, we will be sorted out with God one way or the other in the
twinkling of an eye. Once that separation occurs, we lose the connection to
this realm.  True, there will be those we
leave behind who will have to live – as I am now, with that sense of something
or the other that they could/should/would have done if they had known they didn’t
have enough time with the loved one they have now lost; and knowing this, there
is an intentionality that is called for in investing our time, emotional and
physical presence in the lives of our loved ones. There are calls that need to
be made NOW, visits that need to happen NOW, etc. But, from the perspective of
he/she who has died, none of those things will matter. What will matter is
whether they find themselves at the point of separation – in heaven with the
Lord and all the saints, or in an eternal damnation in hell! Knowing this calls
for an even greater intentionality in investing our all in a closer
relationship with the Lord, a deeper knowledge and understanding of His Word,
and an overriding commitment to living a life that is worthy of and pleasing to
Him; so that on that ‘one day’, we will enter into the eternal fulfillment and fullness
of joy that is promised to the true children of God.

is only the Lord Who knows why my first set of posts on this forum this year are
so weighty. From what I know about the ways of the Lord, there is/are certainly
those one or two people out there who need to hear this and turn full circle
back to God. Is that you sis? Can you examine where you are in your
relationship with Jesus Christ and ask yourself if you are truly ready for that
‘one day’? It’s a question that I hold close to my heart daily because my
deepest desire is find myself with the Lord in heaven when I die. As easily as I
have shared with you about my recent losses, it could easier still be that you
get a message letting you know that I am no more…. or it could be you for whom
the curtain falls. We need to be ready sis! We have to be ready! I need you as
much as you need me on this journey sis. As we encourage each other and hold
each other accountable to walking out our salvation, and as we lean wholly on
the Holy Spirit for help; He will come through for us sis… He surely will! God is
more than able to comfort, uphold, protect and provide for those that we will
leave behind when He calls us. He is, sis! Let’s walk with Him this year and
beyond such that when our time comes, as He watches over our loved ones who are
still on the earth, we will be assuredly resting in His bosom on the other side
of eternity. That is such a glorious picture isn’t it? The Lord will help you
sis! He will help me!

blessed sis…. for you surely are!

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