It is 12:37 on a Friday morning here and my Grandmother has just gone home to be with the Lord. My Grandmother was a victim of the cruel diease of ALS for which she fought for about a year, maybe a little longer. My Grandmother was a wonderful lady with lots of spirit that will greatly be missed. At this moment my heart is filled with grief. Not grief for my Grandmother, but grief for us; grief for my precious Dad who has now lost both of his parents. Grief for my children who thought the world of Grandma and she thought the world of them. Even though you know that this is coming (she was so sick this last week), the heart is never truly prepared for the news. I just got off the phone with my Dad with the news.
But while my heart is filled with sorrow, I know that it is a selfish sorrow. But we would never want Grandma back here in the condition that she was in. I have been praying very hard the last couple of days that the Lord would take Grandma on home to be with Him. And He has, once again, been faithful to answer. I am reminded of the words of a song that I heard and have sang in Church, I will just give you the first verse and the chorus:
Our prayers have all been answered, I've finally arrived.
The healing that had been delayed has now been realized.
No ones in a hurry, there's no schedule to keep,
We're all just praising Jesus, sitting at His feet.
If you could see me now, I'm walking streets of gold,
If you could see me now, I'm standing tall and whole.
If you could see me now, you'd know I've seen His face,
If you could see me now, you'd know the pains erased.
You would'nt want to ever leave this perfect place,
If you could only see me now.
In this time the words of the Apostle Paul take on new meaning.
In 2 Corinthians 5:8, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
For Christians, our sorrow can turn to joy to know that our saved loved one that has departed this life is not lost, is not floating, or is not asleep, but is in the presence of Christ. My Grandma, at this very hour, is in the presence of Christ, reunited with her husband, in great joy. Never again to suffer the pains of ALS or the loss of dignity that sickness can bring, but is with Christ waiting for me some day. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:23 that it is better to depart this life and be with Christ. Grandma now knows the joy of which Paul spoke.
So while we say "good-bye" for now, and we will travel to Charlottle next week I'm sure to lay Grandma's shell next to the shell of her husband, it is not, by the Grace of Almighty God, good-bye forever. It is only for a short while. I told my oldest child just yesterday, that if we live 60 more years here on earth, what is that in light of eternity.
"Father in Heaven, thank you for the life of Grandma. And thank you for extending your Grace to her so that she could face death with victory and not sting and so that we have the hope of her eternal healing and once again sharing her presence. Thank you for Salvation found only in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that Grandma knew you as her Lord and Savior." AMEN
I love you Grandma. Good-bye for now. See you in a little while.