I got a call from someone looking to speak to my father last week. I had the unfortunate responsibility of telling them that my father died three years ago of prostate cancer. They were very sorry to hear of my loss. They asked if my Mom was available. But again, I had to tell them about how my mother suffered a massive stroke last year and now is incapable of acting on her behalf. This also brought up the story of my sister, who was hit by a drunk driver and lay in a persistent vegetative state until last year when she succumbed to an aggressive kidney infection.
The woman said “My God, you have been through a lot. I am so sorry!”
It’s true, I have lost nearly my entire family. My sister was my only sibling. And yet I keep going, I keep striving to do my best everyday. What is it that has kept me from falling apart, from losing my sanity? My faith in God.
Now don’t take that the wrong way. By no means is my faith strong, by no means is it huge. It wavers a great deal from day to day. But even the smallest, tiniest, shred of faith is like a solid foundation to keep you sane. I give thanks to God for helping me through those tough times. When my sister was involved in the accident that destroyed her life, my faith kept me going each day. I kept hope in my heart that perhaps she may recover in some way. But she didn’t and that is God’s will. When the doctors told me that there was nothing more that medical science could do to help my father overcome prostate cancer, I kept faith alive and prayed that perhaps something would come along to help prolong his life a bit more. But nothing came and I lost him. Again, this was God’s will.
Now as my mother resides in a senior living home, my hope continues that she will be able to come home and at least live some semblance of a normal life. But I know that regardless of the outcome, the inevitable result is that I will lose her. And as much as it will crush my spirit and as much as torrents of tears will flow from my eyes, I will know in my heart that it is God’s will.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about these people who used to be in my life. Every so often the sting of sorrow will hit me and I might cry for a short time. But such is the consequence of loss. While I may mourn the losses and feel sorrow for losing them, in my heart lives Jesus Christ. And I know that all of it is God’s will. What does God want me to do? Does He want me to sit around and feel sorry for myself? Does He want me to be angry because they have been taken from me?
God wants me to persevere. To achieve supremacy of mind, body and spirit. To maintain the flame of faith within my soul. Because as I have been taught and have learned through reading the word of God, all life is brought forth by Him, thrives by Him and ultimately dies through Him. But the spirit remains with Him forever. So there is no death for one who has accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.
The only real sadness I have is for the world of today. A world where people, mostly young people, have no belief in God. They shun the thought of there being a God. And as a result, we now witness the result. A world in chaos, bathed in the blood of violence. This is a world that is Godless and now begins to reek of the smell of death as a result. There are some who believe and they are the last standing bastion of hope. They will be the sheep who are reunited with their shepherd, while those who revel in sinful acts, who sew in flames, it will be ashes that they reap.
Faith is the staff of Christ that I lean upon through these times of trial. I am not perfect. I am a sinner like every other man has been since Adam. But I keep faith alive, faith that my redeemer lives and when the words of remorse and sorrow leave my lips, He will wash me clean and forgive my sins.
The question I have to ask anyone who cares to listen, what if God does exist? Do you really want to take the chance of being ignorant and spend eternity in damnation? Think about it. Because you’ll be dead for a lot longer than you’ll be alive.
Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.