Something That Matters

Sharing about God and his wonders isn’t an easy task, but sometimes behind the facade of the internet, opportunities are granted.  If this were only easy in real life!  I’m sharing this because I can sense God’s hand in my response.  First, it’s because I actually had a biblical reference and second because I could add my analysis!  Bible study has always been one of my weaknesses; it’s not just the Bible, it’s analyzing most reading material because I take things literally (and you’ll see that below too).  In my English literature classes, I could never come up with reasons why the author wrote something or what the hidden meanings were.  In my criminal justice class, I could never pick out the actual issue… always close, but no cigar.  Anyway, I digress…

Recently, an internet friend posed the following question on a message board several months after her nephew died in an accident:

Do you believe that when it is “your time to go” it is your time?  Not sure how to word this….  But…do you believe that God knows even before you are born when it will be “your time to go?”   So..in other words… even if T had been with me or his Gram or his Mom…that that was his time??   

I’m just having such a hard time and all these questions keep popping in my head.

Here is my response:

Matthew 10:29-31 states “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

There are two things I get out this passage.  One is that God cares so much about such things as sparrows, worth only a small amount of money, so of course He cares immensely more about us who were made in His image.  The other is that if something as insignificant (relative to everything else) as our hair is numbered, then He definitely knows ahead of time when our lives (much more significant) will end.

It may be years down the road that you find out why he was taken away so young.  When my SIL was pregnant with her first child, she had an email list and shared her pregnancy, prayer requests, etc.  On the list were those who cared about her, both Christians and non-Christians.  When it turned out she had a stillborn, she was able to continue the emails to share her love for God in her time of terrible sorrow, to show that it’s okay to grieve… and to stop grieving, and to show that there is another way other than to blame and hate God.  When they had the memorial for their baby, there were non-Christians who praised the way my SIL and BIL held up under the pressure.  One person who shared just had a fire at her parent’s house that killed her brother and had her father in the ICU for months because of burns, but I hope that she can remember how my SIL handled herself and find comfort now.  It’s been almost two years since the baby died, and this is just one example.  There could be many others who would reflect in their example to deal with difficult losses in the years to come.  We just don’t know and won’t until someday we reflect back.

And yes, from a practical point of view, it IS okay to question and to blame because those are our emotions.  It doesn’t work when feelings are swept under the rug; you are human, after all!  In the end, however, know that God knows what He’s doing.

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I Dream of Dad

My dad passed away on May 2, 2007 at the age of 93. 
 
I had a dream with my dad a couple of nights ago, and I feel better because of it.  I don’t remember 99% of my dreams, but this one was vivid.  When the dream started, I knew I was at a church and the service was related to my daughter, and I knew what the reason was.  I was talking to the ladies sitting next to me, and one lady is a parent of my daughter’s schoolmate.  Then I leaned over a little more and saw my dad sitting in the aisle seat smiling at me, with his mouth wide open, and nodding to me in acknowledgement, like “it’s okay” or “I’m here.”  My dad rarely smiled or laughed when he was alive and certainly not during the last few years of his life when he was sick.  Then I remember thinking, “Why am I here?  We’re at a church, and it’s about my daughter.  OH NO!  Is it her funeral?” It seemed like my dream was suspended while my mind searched for the reason and finally, it came, “Oh yeah.  She’s getting baptized!”  Very strange.  Then I woke up.
 
I’ve had a couple of dreams with my dad in them in the past 3 1/2 years.  I seem to remember that both times were either around or during times that he needed medical help.  I think that happened because I saw him a lot and was very involved in his life.  That’s why I was slightly bothered that I hadn’t had any dreams of him either right before or after he died.  It just made me feel like I lost touch with him after the caregivers took over. 
That paternal approval hardly occur when he was around, so I think this dream told me that he thought I did alright as his daughter.  I can finally grieve “normally”!  I can tell that in the past two days I’ve been thinking of him differently and truly missing him instead of feeling like there was a lot left unsaid or undone or whether I did my job as a daughter or not.