Today is bittersweet- I’m grieving, yet rejoicing. My heart is broken, yet it is at peace.
Last night I got a call that my grandfather had passed away. As I cried over the phone with my family, I wanted to be there with them so badly. In times like these, being so far away is difficult- really difficult. When my grandfather started to get so sick a week ago, I began to get really worried and anxious about what might happen. My mom was so quick to remind me that the Lord is sovereign, and He’s not unaware that I am in Africa while my grandfather is suffering so much at home. Although it hurts, His timing is perfect in calling my grandfather home.
Yesterday began the Bible study with young girls, and it went so well. The girls were hungry for the Word and at the end, two girls accepted Christ as their Savior!! I was so rejoicing over their salvation, and I was amazed at how much joy someone’s salvation could bring to my heart. Not long after that, I got the call from my family about my grandfather. My grandmother’s brave and confident words to me were, “I want you to be happy. Rejoice that He is now in Heaven because that’s exactly what he would want you to do right now.” Yesterday I was given such a beautiful picture of the joy of salvation and how triumphant grace and glory are in the life of a believer.
Before he died, a sweet friend brought Revelation 3:8 to my attention, “Behold, I have set before you an open door which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” She encouraged me that the open door set before my grandfather in his weakness and sickness, was Heaven. That door to eternal life is the greatest one that we will ever walk through, so why should we mourn the fact that he got to walk through that door yesterday? We mourn not as ones who have no hope, but as ones who have a great hope. We mourn the loss of such an incredible man who loved so deeply, but we rejoice in the gain. As I follow the example of Job, I will choose fall on my knees in worship and declare that “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21).
I called for transparency in one of my first blogs after arriving here in Uganda, and I will continue to be transparent- even in my weakness. I am sad, and at times it is lonely and very difficult being so far from the ones I love so much. I want to be there to comfort them, and to walk through this with them. Through many tears and struggles I am learning that in all of this longing and heartache to lift them up in prayer, because that’s the only thing I can do. As I was getting ready to board the plane bound for Africa, a friend hugged me and said, “promise me that you will trust in Jesus more than you ever have before”. For my family, for my friends, I will hold true to that promise and trust in Him more than I ever have before.
Psalm 42:5 says, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation, and my God.”
Romans 12:2 - “Rejoice in hope”
1 John 3:2 proclaims, “Beloved, we are Gods children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.”
I hold on to the words of God that are “trustworthy and true”, and that will one day be made reality- “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21:3-4
Grace and glory are triumphant in the life of a believer; therefore, I grieve the loss of a hero of mine, but I choose to rejoice in his salvation and that he now sees Christ as He is. My Grandy is made whole, and he is now living in a place our hearts were made to long for. I praise God for salvation today- for the eternal life that was found yesterday for two new believers, and the eternal life that was found yesterday for a man I love so much.
All blessing, praise and glory be to our great God