May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
As most of you know, our family (including extended family) is going through some difficult trials. The most difficult is watching a loved one slowly wither away and die. As I write, my sister and my 86 year old mother are holding vigil at my step-father’s (Chris) beside. Those of you who have gone through this know how difficult it is to watch a loved one slowly slip away before your eyes. It is exhausting and draining both physically and emotionally. I am so thankful that my sister has been able to clear her extremely busy schedule to be with our mother during this most difficult moment in their lives. My sister has shared that at home our mom sits in Chris’s recliner; his seat at the table and even sleeps in his empty bed at night; anything to feel close to her beloved husband of almost 31 years.
My heart aches wanting to be with them through this vigil, but I know that I will be with my mom the end of May when we travel back east to visit with her and other family members. So I am trying to wait patiently 2500 miles away, praying for my loved ones as they have begun the process of saying goodbye to a much loved man who has deeply loved and devoted his life to his wife and family. As I wait and pray I am also filled with overflowing hope, joy and peace as I trust in God’s promise that I will see Chris and other loved ones who have gone on before once again in heaven. I rejoice in knowing that the Holy Spirit has given us all such peace and hope because we know Chris will be in a much better place; free from all pain and sickness. Why do we have such peace and hope? "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (II Corinthians 5:8).
Though our hearts are grieving, God has given us overflowing hope, peace and joy because we know that Chris has put his faith and trust in our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So though I am 2500 miles away from his bedside, my heart rejoices that I will see my loved ones again…what a glorious reunion that will be when we all get to heaven! Praise the Lord!
Thank you heavenly Father for sending Your only Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place so that those of us who place our faith in Him, will have the peace and joy in knowing that we will be present with You in heaven when we take our final breath here on earth. Thank you dear Lord for filling us with overflowing hope that we will see our loved ones again one day! In Jesus precious name, amen!