Monday, September 2, 2013

"These Momentous Days"

    This past week, I conducted a funeral and a wedding for the same family in the span of three days.  Yvonne, the mother of Sheldon, our youngest daughter Emmie's boyfriend, went to be with her Lord on August 20.  The family is British, so the service was delayed for a week so that family and friends could make the journey over from England to say their farewells.  However, the wedding of Yvonne's eldest son Stefan had been scheduled many months ago for August 30.  This meant the two services, so different in their purpose and emotional sensibility, would occur within a two day period.  Stefan and his fiancee Vicki wanted to delay their wedding, of course, as it became evident that Yvonne's departure drew near.  In the last days of her life, however, Yvonne insisted that the wedding go on as planned.  I think she knew that the event could serve as a comfort and catharsis for the family, and looking back on how the week unfolded, this proved to be true.

     "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep" (Romans 12:15).

    Our Lord met with us in both services.  I would say that He rejoiced with us, and wept with us.  This is who He is, that is, He is the God "full of compassion" (Psalm 86:15).  Our cares are His cares, our joys His joys, our sorrows His sorrows, and our life His life.  He loved and loves Yvonne, as we did, and as we do.  She required His accompaniment through "the valley of the shadow of death," and He faithfully fulfilled His promise to be with her in the journey Home (Psalm 23:4).  We required His comforting presence because Yvonne left us, and He faithfully fulfilled His promise to be "a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).  Thus, I am more convinced than ever of the Truth we often share in sermons, lessons, and essays, namely, that the Lord Jesus is always everything we need Him to be, and more.  Nothing can present itself to us that will not find our blessed Savior to be God's more than abundant supply of grace, presence, and enabling.  This we must believe and establish as the abiding conviction of our hearts, first, because it is true, and also because our experience of this presence and supply requires our faith.

     The family will, of course, continue to require God's presence and comfort in the days to come, and He will be there for them.  I know that you will pray for them, that they will trust Him accordingly, and that the balm of the comforting Holy Spirit will salve their wounds of loss.  Pray also for Stefan and Vicki as they enter their marital life together.  It began in a particularly holy time, and doubtless our Lord has special purposes for this couple who have found a place deep in my heart and affections.  Yvonne's husband Rob will also appreciate your prayers, as will each of her six children.  Finally, I would mention Sheldon particularly, because we are closest to him.  He was Yvonne's youngest, and I have never met a finer young man.  He was very close to his mother, and he will need God's grace in days to come.  What a joy it is to know that it will be there in abundant measure, and that the Lord who met with Yvonne and her family in these momentous days will meet them along the way of all days to come.

"I will be with thee."
(Isaiah 43:2)

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