Questions to Ponder

I began attending a new Bible study last Tuesday, which I'm really enjoying. A large group of women meet at the church where we worship together and hear a short devotional before breaking into smaller groups for more topical studies.

Today's devotional struck a chord with me. I will not share the name of the woman who shared today, because, first of all, I didn't ask her permission. Second, if I mention her name, you will all know who I am talking about, because she is/was married to a famous man, and I don't want you to focus on that. The title of her devo was "What I Have Learned Since September 26th", because she lost her dear husband a mere three months ago.

She proceeded to stand before a large number of women and share how she found her husband's body and how she has carried on since that day. I was astounded by her ability to stand before us and so eloquently describe how she wandered the house in search of him, after he did not answer her calls. Once she found him, she knelt down to check for a pulse, which she did not find, and then she put her ear to his chest to hear nothing but peace. She was able to stand before us and share such detail without a tear.

She then proceeded to tell us how she missed him so much one night that she asked God to please allow her to dream about her beloved that night. She fell asleep at 12:01, and she saw her "Cuddle Bear" in a dark hallway with a warm light behind him. She asked him how heaven was for him. He responded with, "It's music. It's light." She awakened at 12:04. God heard her cry and gave her three minutes with her husband, and those three minutes have taught her to be happy for him.

She has chosen to focus on how he no longer suffers from illness or pain. I think we're probably all guilty of saying this to a new mourner: "At least he/she is no longer suffering." We mean well when we say it, but how does it really feel to hear that when the loss is so fresh? Yet, she has taken it to heart and has decided to be happy for his well-being, instead of focusing on her own hurt. Yes, I'm sure she still hurts over his absence, but she is being self-less.

So, I ask myself, could I be happy for Rick, if he should leave this earth before me? Could I swallow some of my crying to realize that he is truly better off?

When we broke up into our smaller groups, my group began discussing the topic of releasing our children into God's hands. (We're studying The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian, which I highly recommend to all parents!) I realize that God loves and cares for my children far more than I do. But how far am I willing to go to actually release them to God?

One mom even mentioned a friend who had lost a young child suddenly and the grief that family suffered. But another woman quickly added, at least that child never had the opportunity to turn away from God. So, I quietly began to ponder that thought. If my boys died suddenly in the next couple of years, could I be happy for them? Happy that they never had to face the true difficulties of the teen years, college years, and then adulthood. Could I be happy for my baby, that he never had to be hurt by this world? And, then, what would hurt me more...for my baby to die young and to undoubtedly go to heaven, or for him to live a full life on earth but possibly choose to turn away from God?

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I want my boys to follow me into a God-fearing faith. I pray that my boys' faiths are stronger and deeper than mine. I will be deeply grieved if they turn their backs to God. But I ask myself this: Am I willing to say that I would rather my child die now than to live for the world?

I know this is heavy stuff! But I thought I would share this topic to get all of us to question how far are we willing to release our loved ones into our Father's hands?

Heavenly Father, I ask you to stretch and grow my faith. Show me where I need to let go. I want for my children, my husband and myself to know you at such a deep level that we can entrust you with one another. If you choose to take one or more of them before taking me, I pray that my faith will be ready to say, "Go forth, loved one, and enjoy heaven. I am okay."

Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV) "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'"


Martha said...

What an inspiration, I was just given your website, and have a feeling I will be here often!

Martha League-Calhoun

Ami said...

Hi, Martha! Wow, what a blast from the past! Please emaill me so we can catch up a bit!