~ “Life is fragile, handle with prayer.” Harold B. Lee ~
We can’t stay in worry mode all the time . . . wondering what calamity may be lurking around the bend. Life is to be embraced to the fullest, but it is fragile . . . and I had no idea how much.
We were excited. It was to be the first family gathering of its kind. Immediate family members would be traveling miles and miles from all directions to finally be together. My sons and I would finally meet my step-son’s wife. Many years before, when my boys were young, I met my step-son and my sons met their step-brother. And now, years later, we would all be together at the same time. How grand! I don’t remember which came first: the planned visit or realizing all the celebration dates falling within the vacation time. How wonderful that we would be able to celebrate birthdays, a graduation and an anniversary, my husband’s and mine.
My husband and I got there first. The boys arrived in the wee hours the following morning. They came in clamoring for breakfast, and it wasn’t long before all the youngins were joking and exchanging barbs as if they had known each other their entire lives.
I was loving every second of it. Seeing them all together, enjoying each other though strangers, put me at ease and warmed my heart. I smiled until my cheeks ached. We laughed. We played. We toured the sights. We feasted. We took advantage of the time we had together, to make good memories to cherish for years to come.
“Let’s make this an annual event,” we promised each other, vowing to not wait this long ever again. But unbeknownst to us, it was to be our first and last family gathering. In just weeks, we would gather again, but this time for the funeral of our firstborn. Never again . . . on this earth . . . would we all be together.
We just never know . . .
I wonder, am I the only one? Do other readers of my blog have similar stories? Consider sharing your story for the benefit of us all. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded how fragile life is. We know to take it slowly, which is the only speed most of us grievers can manage. We are known to say frequently on social media,”Take one step, one breath at a time.” It is a gentle reminder, particularly to new grievers, to focus on simple tasks and let the rest go for now. Perhaps it’s another way of suggesting, “Life is fragile; handle with prayer.”
Recalling my bittersweet story, I can’t help but look longingly toward heaven for hope. I know this earth is rapidly breaking down. We hear of wars and climate change and mass shootings and natural disasters everywhere. You may disagree, but when I hear about the awful things taking place around the world, I am reminded of the Scripture that says:
“You are going to hear the noise of battles close by and the news of battles far away; but do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come. Countries will fight each other; kingdoms will attack one another. There will be famines and earthquakes everywhere.” Matthew 24:6-7 GNT
That reads like yesterday’s news, doesn’t it? Prophecy predicted this a long time ago and yet, it has a familiar ring to it. It’s sobering. I can’t ignore it. The death of my son by suicide reminds me every day that this world, in its current state, cannot last. It appears to be rapidly “fraying at the seams.”
While we remain here on earth, there will always be sad stories to share. But I also want to share the hope and joy we can have . . . even in the midst of our pain. My joy comes in knowing that I trust God. He is the only One with power to save us from destruction. It’s His mercy that nurses our fractured earth along, not wanting anyone to miss out on the good stuff to come.
There will be an end to earth as we know it (2 Peter 3:10). But first Jesus will return! He’s coming to awaken those who have been resting in peace (RIP). All the living and our precious loved ones we have missed for so long will at last be together forever.
“Why wait?” I often ask Jesus. “Why not come today?” But He is merciful. He is waiting for everyone to choose his master. We have two choices: God or Satan. Good vs evil. It’s sobering to realize that there is not a third choice: me. We either choose God or choose Satan. If we don’t choose either, we get Satan by default. We have enough evidence to make the right choice, don’t we? Let’s choose wisely. Eternity hangs in the balance.
Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear my voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with me. To those who win the victory I will give the right to sit beside me on my throne, just as I have been victorious and now sit by my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:20-21 GNT