This post refers to a story told in my Monday blogs. You can find Part I here, Part II here,
Part III here, Part IV here and Part V here. Together they tell the story of one day in my life, one day that changed everything...and taught me these nuggets of truth:
1. God can work through anyone. God is God.
I wasn't supposed to be with my brother the day he died. But a neighbor I barely knew knocked on my door that day, insisting I visit Jim, who was suffering from kidney failure.
Debbie only lived in my neighborhood a few months. Shortly after my brother's death, her family moved out-of-state, and we lost contact. However, it continues to amaze me how she was a key player in God's plan that day.
We don't need to know the plan. We can trust God to provide.
2. God is trying to reach you. He's trying to reach me. Don't miss the subtle invitation...
In one of my most fear-filled moments of Jim's illness, I walked past a priest in the crowded hospital lobby. His mere presence delivered peace. Unknowingly, he was like a walking billboard to follow Christ.
Additionally, at my request, the hospital sent a nun to my brother's hospital room. She arrived when I needed her most. She prayed and read scripture.
Although, in the months that followed, I never contacted these people directly, they lit the way to find peace through the dark tunnel of grief. I started praying, reading scripture, and attending church.
3. We are not in control...
And that's okay.
If things went according to my plan, I would not have been with Jim when he died. I wasn't supposed to be there that particular day, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I was.
That day, God put everything perfectly in place for each one of us; Jim, me, and my husband. Even today I am in awe of how the events unfolded.
4. This life isn't forever....eternity is...
So set your goals and your values accordingly.
Life is short. Eternity is long...it's forever.
5. With every ending, there's a new beginning...
My brother's death triggered a lifelong search for God in my life. The months that followed were dark with grief.
Then I read Matthew 16:21-23. Jesus and the disciples are heading to Jerusalem. He begins telling them that he would be arrested and beaten, killed, and that he would rise on the third day. Peter gets upset and pulls him aside, saying this can't possibly happen.
That's exactly how I felt about my brother and his death. Why did this happen?
Jesus' response hit home: "Get away from me Satan. You are thinking merely from a human point of view, and not from God's."
What? Was there another way to look at Jim's death? Could something good could come out of it? Something I, like Peter, couldn’t yet see?
6. The Journey Never Ends
The good news is that the remarkable love of God so clearly shown in the events of that day is there for us each and every day of our lives. It doesn't take a tragedy for God to show up...He is with us always...in every moment...in every day...
So, the story goes on and on...
Thanks for coming along with me. Keep reading. My Monday posts will continue to reveal God's loving presence in everyday life...and perhaps you'll see a little of yourself in there...