Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Grave is Overwhelmed

Psalm 86:15-16 (New International Version)
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;

grant your strength to your servant
and save the son of your maidservant.

I closed my Daily Light after reading it on Friday morning, but before I did, I moved the bookmark to the next day's reading, February 7th. There was a note in the top left hand corner of the page in my handwriting. Not unusual, for I have written little notes throughout this dog eared, book that is very precious to me. Some notes remind me of a birthday, or a the day of some one's death. Some note a significant moment in my spiritual journey. A few are so enigmatic that I wonder whatever I meant at the time I wrote them.

The one on February 7th, said, "Susan S. parent's 50th wedding anniversary '98." On October 5th another note says, "Susan S. Mom's home-going, 1987." She went to heaven 22 years ago in October, but February 7th would have been her 61st wedding anniversary.

I don't know why I feel compelled to note these things, but I do.

I was lying in bed this morning trying to will myself to get up when the phone rang downstairs. I knew that before I would get to it the answering machine would kick in, but it gave me the needed nudge to emerge from beneath the warm covers.

I crept downstairs so as not to waken Paul, and listened to the message. It was from Susan. Her voice raw and trembling slightly. "My dad's gone; about 2 o'clock this morning. We were on the way, we're at Chatham." Susan's father, an old soldier, like my own dad, lived in Windsor. He was proud, stubborn and independent, but he had resigned himself to moving to a nursing home on Tuesday, something he had never wanted to do.

I marvelled at how God weaves these things together, because when she called again a little later, to tell me he had died in the hospital, I was able to remind her of what day it was, and that perhaps he wasn't alone. I imagined a special visitor to that room, one at whose sight his eyes would have brightened as the veil between this world and the next was pulled aside.

Tomorrow our worship team will sing the beautiful Chris Tomlin song, I will Rise for the first time. I've been longing to sing it, having listened to it over and over, loving the lyrics and music. Is it coincidence that we sing it tomorrow?

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when
He calls my name
No more sorrow,
no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow,
no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Chris Tomlin

5 comments:

Brenda said...

Belinda, Thanks for this. You are a TRUE friend! Now I know which song my family will be doing in the service. I love how Father puts everything together, making the journey so much easier. Don't you just love Him?

Belinda said...

I do love him Brenda, and I love being in the mystery, the centre, of his unfolding agenda. Oh, what a wonderful song to minister to hearts. I am hoping very hard that I can be there.

Susan said...

Woohoo! I was going to ask my sister if we could do this song at the funeral! Now I don't have to. (God is SO good...)

B'a, I will never forget the moment when you said to me, "Do you know what day this is?" and I suddenly remembered that it was their anniversary. I was so consumed with the goodness of God and love for my parents and the emotion of the healing that He has allowed to flow between all of us, that I was broken to pieces - and as you know - I began to cry. It was SUCH a good cry.

Yes, we mourn, but not as the world mourns. It's only for ourselves... I KNOW where Dad is. I know where he is! I will see him again. We have such a hope, and such a future - we cannot imagine.

When Mom died, it seemed like it was too soon and that her life was so incomplete. There were so many unanswered prayers...

But God is showing us a different perspective as his perfect plan unfolds. Mom's work on earth was done and she was called home. But God's work carried on. She was a faithful prayer warrior here on earth. And the fruit of that prayer just keeps coming and coming... What a harvest! And how great is our God...

Belinda said...

And how wonderful that the whole worship service this morning was hand picked by God, as if he was wrapping a blanket of love around your family Susan and Brenda. Cheryl,the leader, who knew none of this, also chose "It is Well with my Soul." What a thread of victory and celebration. Wow!

Marilyn said...

I'm sorry. I was away over the weekend and missed this bit of news. I am so sorry to read it, and yet, reading the sisters' comments as well as the post-service report, am blessed and reassured that God's timing is perfect.