Three years ago today my sweet Cecil went home to be with the Lord. The two years following his death were filled with darkness and devastation, BUT GOD… but God, in His tender mercy, lifted me up and out of that deep chasm of sorrow that virtually ended life as I had known it. I can sing again. I can laugh again. I am my old, ornery self again, and life goes on.
This morning I watched and listened to a recording of Cecil and me singing the song we sang at our wedding – “TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE CONSECRATED, LORD, TO THEE.” Cecil never could remember the words so we laughed more than we sang. At the end of the song, he leaned over and kissed me. When I drew back, he said softly, “I wasn’t finished yet.”
Now, I think, “I wasn’t finished either.”
Hardly a moment passes that I don’t think of Cecil and the brief, lovely time we had together. I suppose a tinge of sorrow will always accompany my thoughts of him, BUT GOD…
Aren’t you glad you can say, “BUT GOD?” “This sad thing happened, BUT GOD!” I was in need, BUT GOD!” God surely makes all the difference.
The three years since Cecil’s death have been difficult years for my family. My brother’s wife of sixty-six years died after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s. Last spring, my oldest brother, Lincoln died of Cancer. My younger sister has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and is fighting that reality, and my darling niece – the daughter I never had – is suffering from a degenerative brain disease that has robbed her of all motor skills including speech and sight.
IT’S TOO MUCH, LORD!
Sorrow piled upon sorrow, pain upon pain. How do we handle this? How do we slog through this quagmire of grief? Will this terrible reality of life completely consume me?
IT’S TOO MUCH, LORD!
I don’t mind telling Him that. He knows me well.
I have always thought of my life as a jigsaw puzzle designed by the Master Puzzle Maker. He is really the only one who can put this puzzle together. He is the only one who knows where the pieces fit.
I look back on my life at all the random pieces that seemed to make no sense at the time and know that my Maker knew exactly where to fit each piece into his design for me.
Working on a puzzle may be fun, as long as you are putting together the flowers and the birds, and the puppy dogs, but what do you do with those dark, indistinguishable pieces. They have no beauty, and they have no form of their own. However, once we find a place for them, we see that the darkness enhances the brightness of the sun and accentuates the beauty of the flowers. In fact, the scene is not complete without the darkness.
Looking at life from an eighty years perspective, I see a beautiful picture emerging as God puts all the pieces, both lovely and dark, into His design. Of course, the picture of my life is not yet complete. There will be more gladness. There will be more sadness.
Bill Gaither sings about how God took all my confusion and brokenness and made something beautiful of my life.
Truth is, in spite of the dark times, I have had an incredible life. Yes, there may be more sadness. That is almost certain in this messed up world, but the master designer has made my life beautiful, and I will live it that way.
We used to sing an old song that said, “Won’t it be wonderful there having no burdens to bear…” We look forward to heaven where there will be no more death nor sorrow nor crying, but we don’t have to wait until heaven to enjoy a glorious life.
In I Corinthians 2:9, the Apostle Paul tells us, “…Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
This scripture is not speaking of the blessings of heaven but of God’s promise for an abundant life TODAY. The Spirit of God enters into relationship with us and reveals to our heart, the present day privileges and joys God has prepared for those who love Him.
IT’S TOO MUCH, LORD, but Isaiah 61:3 tells us, “…He has sent me…to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” And, He does promise that He will not give us more than we can bear.
REMEMBER! “…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!!!