“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; Psalm 23:6 NKJV”
This week’s Sabbath School lesson is about the seasons of life.
“A time to be born, And a time to die; Ecclesiastes 3:2 NKJV”
Several years ago, I was talking to a friend who recently lost her mother. I had not lost my mother yet, so while being concerned for my friend, I also had my own reasons to see how she was dealing with her loss. I always had this fear that when my mother died I would just curl up in a little ball and lay there till I died too. I asked my friend how she found the will to continue with her life. Her response was unique. She smiled, almost shrugging her shoulders, she said, “My mother lived her life without me before I was born. I can live my life without her now that she is gone.” I had never heard a response like that before, but I realized she was right.
Reading this you may think it sounds heartless, but I assure you my friend was not being heartless at all. She was being real and practical. From the day of her birth till the die she died, God’s goodness and mercy was with my friend’s mother all the days of her life. Even before she had a family, God’s goodness and mercy was with my friend’s mother just as much as when she had a family. She enjoyed her life, and every day had purpose with or without a family. God’s goodness and mercy is also with my friend all the days of her life. My friend’s life is filled with purpose the days following her mother’s death just as much as the days which she had a mother. When I am preaching at a funeral I always assure the family that God’s goodness and mercy followed their loved one all the days of his or her life, and I assure them that now that their loved one is resting, God’s goodness and mercy will follow them all the days of their life as well, and not just the days that they had their loved one alive.
Its been almost three years now since I did indeed lose my own mother. I wrote a post for SSNET the week my mother died, and I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciated all the heartwarming comments that followed! I was surprised that I could even write that week. I was surprised I did not curl up in a little ball and lay there till Jesus came. I was surprised how my life continued. A couple weeks later, after my sermon, a friend commented that she was surprised I could preach so well right after losing my mother. I was just as surprised as she was, but I realized the obvious. As much as I dearly loved my mother, when she died, the reason I did not curl up in a little ball and die with her was because I live for Jesus!
My life continues because I continue living for Jesus. His mercy and goodness follow me all the days of my life. While my mother was living I lived for Jesus. Now that she is resting I live for Jesus. Every day has purpose. My mother would tell me wonderful stories about when she was younger before I was born. I loved hearing her stories. When I meet her again in heaven, I will be telling her wonderful stories about my life while she was resting. When we compare her wonderful stories about her life before I was born, and the wonderful stories about my life while she was resting, we will both joyfully proclaim, God’s goodness and mercy were with both of us all the days of our life!