It’s difficult to believe that one week ago we had just arrived at the Greenbrier and were checking in. The next morning, Monday, we had breakfast in the main dining room – the best breakfast buffet in the world, and we began celebrating our 42nd wedding anniversary. We didn’t do much that was specific to the day but we did enjoy a movie that evening several miles away in Lewisburg. Since every moment with Janet is special, it’s kind of like an anniversary celebration each and every day; and that’s why we have never put much stock in over the top remembrances of the day that we exchanged our vows back in 1973.
Tuesday was a somber day. It was the 2nd anniversary of the death of Nancy, Janet’s Mom and that shocking notification while we were in Hawaii started a chain reaction of events that ultimately culminated in the death of Janet’s father 18 days later, in September, 2013. It seems that the last several times that we have been away on our special day, we have had some sort of tragedy at home and this year was no exception.
Unfortunately, the son of friends of ours was killed in a freak single vehicle motorcycle accident and wasn’t discovered until the next morning. I guess it was a blessing that he didn’t suffer – according to the officials at the scene, he died instantly – without pain. I can only pray that they were right and that he didn’t lay out there all night in agony slowly feeling his life ebb away.
For Christians, we know that one of the ministries of angels is to escort believers to heaven and I pray that he was not alone as he entered the presence of God and received his crown. The one redeeming thing here is that was no doubt that he was a saved man. From an eternal perspective, that is the most important thing.
Aside from the tragic news, the week was filled with activity. Wednesday morning we headed back from West Virginia and started planning for guests and funeral related activities. We have tried to assist the family in any way possible and have entertained friends and family members of the deceased. With visitation and then the funeral yesterday, it has been quite a week; and that doesn’t include all the other things we did when we were back in West Virginia – visiting the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV, driving past the famous Homestead Resort and witnessing the beautiful landscape of West Virginia.
Through all the drama – the highs and lows, the celebrations and the life altering loss of a loved one, the one constant is that time marches on. It kind of reminds me of the old soap operas that kept their story lines going for years based on the intricacies of everyday life. That’s how Janet and I feel this week – like we have been in the middle of a soap opera.
We are exhausted – and yet fulfilled that we have been able to in some small way ease the pain and suffering of friends. For them, the new reality of life without their son is just starting. It will be months, and even years, before they adapt to this new life. And re-evaluating their priorities will be another hurdle they have to address.
Through it all, time continues to tick away. The Scriptures are quite clear in Ecclesiastes that there are times in our lives for everything. We are told in the first verse of Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” And that’s what we have been dealing with this week. Almost every emotion and every kind of activity that you can think of.
My encouragement this evening is that God already knows what He has in store for each of us. He wants us to turn to Him and trust in the choices that He has made for our lives. Incidents like the loss of a loved one either draw us closer to God or push us away from the Father. My prayer is that when life seems too complicated to understand and you hurt beyond words, you will trust God to bring you through to the other side. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…