I was told this morning, rather suddenly, that my grandfather passed away. I had known he had been battling cancer in his liver and had other physical limitations, but I never thought that it was immediately serious. My heart was broken as I dwelled on the fact that he passed on to Heaven without me seeing him one last time. But that wasn't the extent of my sadness.
My Memaw passed away almost 2 years ago. It's pretty accurate to say that she was the best thing that ever happened to me, besides Jesus. After her death, my family struggled to cope with life without her- she was an exceptionally special woman to us. My grandfather didn't cope well at all; it's safe to say he messed up. And since then, I haven't been able to get over that. Until just a few months ago, I harbored disappointment and resentment against him in an ungodly way. It was so strong that I was completely callous to the fact that I was sinning against him and God! Over Christmas break God broke my heart over my sin and led me to repentance, and when I saw him for the first time in a year, I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him.
I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit drilled deep into my soul to convict me of my ungodliness before I last saw him. Although it still won't be easy, I will be able to see him one final time, his physical body resting in a casket, with my mind completely at peace because of the work God did in me just a few months ago. Although he may have never known my resentment against him, I hope he could see that I forgave him for all he did! I hope he could see the showering of love I offered him on the last Christmas of his life. Although I still regret not reflecting Christ's character more often in this situtation these past 2 years, I know that I am forgiven!
Aren't you thankful for our Savior and the forgiveness the Father brings? His mercy is absolutely wonderful!
Now that I can peacefully rest in the fact that I am forgiven, I am going to be joyful in the fact that I can take refuge in my Stronghold. I've mourned my Popie's death long enough, and now I'm ready to rejoice in the blessed fact that he is worshipping the Lord in Heaven!
And if any of you are reading this, keep my family in your prayers. I would love to use this experience I've had as an opportunity to witness to them. What greater thing could happen than for God to use a tragedy to add people to His kingdom?? Isn't that what suffering is all about, drawing His children closer to Him?
"Be my rock of refuge, O Lord, to which I can always go. Give the command to
save me, for you are my rock and my fortress." -Psalm 71:3