Monday, April 7, 2008

Peace that Passes Understanding

Yesterday we were are at mom and dad’s for Sunday lunch and to celebrate mom’s birthday. Dad came out to have lunch with us, but soon went back to bed. The rest of us went to the living room for cake and coffee.

After a while, dad called to mom asking for something to drink. I took it to him and sat with him for a while. He was lying on his side and sipped his drink from a straw without opening his eyes, and I helped him steady the glass. When he was done drinking, we chatted for a little bit. He spoke softly, slowly, and just a few words at a time, still not opening his eyes. Among other things, he said he loved Kristiina’s laugh – he could hear her in the other room.

When a few minutes had passed, he said he was sleepy. I got up to leave, telling him I’d let him get some rest and kissed him on his head. As I was approaching the door he said something else. He speaks so softly I had to go back to his side to hear what he was saying. Then, he opened his eyes to see that I was there, and he said he’s proud of me; that I’m meek – a quiet person, but strong – and then he said he struggled to find the right words. …that God is evident in my life and he knows I’ll be okay and that God will always be with me, guiding and directing. And again, he said he struggled to express how proud he is.

Dad has always been such an encourager, I never doubted that he is proud of me; but that he thinks I’m meek left me speechless and tearful. Meek is exactly what I want to be. Jesus was meek. A friend of mine once said (I don’t know if she coined the phrase, or borrowed it from a preacher/teacher) that “meek is not weak, it’s bridled strength.” It’s having the ferocity of a stallion, but tempering it with the gentleness of a show horse. All I could do was thank him and tell him I love him.

Later, I was watching a video segment of Beth Moore that I had taped previously. It was based on Philippians 1:6 - being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, Psalm 138:8 - The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands, and Ephesians 1:11 - In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. Her point was that when we die, we’re “unzipping this tent of a body that we’ve been walking around in and step through, dropping it behind us.” That the flesh is all that perishes – who we are is imperishable, eternal. She said that in that regard, the work that God began in us, he will continue it even when our “tenure on this earth is done” because he’s carrying it on to completion until the “day of Christ Jesus.” And not only is He completing what He started in us, He’s fulfilling His plan for all that concerns us. In death, are we leaving behind a spouse, children? Does that make us anxious? He is faithful and trustworthy to work everything out! He has a plan and a purpose, and He’ll complete it. This is the condensed version, but the way Beth put it made perfect sense.

Hearing that after dad told me that “he knows I’ll be okay… God will always be with me, guiding and directing,” it confirmed what I already suspected... that he was assuring me that he is at peace because he knows in Whose care he’s leaving me. I’m thankful dad has peace... and he so clearly does.

The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dearest Friend,
How this heart-felt sharing blessed my own heart today. I have such a love for your dad, and I've never met him, but it is the very love of God in my heart for you and your family.
What a sweet and precious memory you will forever have in that divine time spent with your dad as he shared such encouraging and precious words with his daughter. You are so blessed to have a father who knows who his God is, and a dad who knows who will be caring for his family when he walks away from his earthly tent and enters into the glorious arms and presence of his Lord and Savior. Thank you Pam, for sharing such intimacy with others so we can be reminded of how precious life is, and how blessed we who are in Christ are to have life eternal. I love you and miss you and will keep your dad and family close in my heart and prayers.

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18