“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall lack in NOTHING…” (Psalm 23:1)
Last Saturday my bro-in-law passed away peacefully. Last Thursday, he was readmitted to the hospital because he collapsed at home and was unable to move. Since then he was comatized and was unable to regain consciousness.
One afternoon, Daniel, my husband and I were with him after yet another doctor’s diagnoses – it’s the same: terminal cancer. We prayed with him and Daniel laid his hands on his liver (he was in much pain). The next when we visit him again, he exclaimed excitedly to Daniel, “You know, after you left, the pain also left and since then there was no pain.” And that was when we saw progressive strength returning to him.
I was with my sister Amy that day in the emergency room and she was crying, “I have totally lost faith… I have no more faith to believe in miracles.” I hugged her and I said, “Amy, it is God’s grace in his life. He was not supposed to come back. He could have died in China because of internal bleeding. He asked God for a miracle and God did give him one. He came back and was able to meet his family especially his two little girls. And that was his faith in God.”
Ameli and Jo Anne (the two little girls)
“Ameli, I know that it is difficult to know that daddy has an incurable illness. Tell me girl, how do you feel now?” “I don’t know, aunt. But I am rather afraid,” Ameli said. “Well, is daddy a Christian?” “Yes,” both of them agreed. “Hmm, if that is so, where do you think he will go if, let’s say if he died?” “Heaven,” both replied. “And where is that supposed to be?” “With Jesus,” they said. “Exactly! Daddy is going to be with Jesus.” “But,” Ameli continued, “I don’t want daddy to go yet, I want him to be with us,” with tears welling up. I tried to stay composed and said, “Well, I know that too. We all love daddy too much to let him go but I think Jesus thinks that it is best that daddy should go back to Him because Jesus loves daddy more. We will miss him but he shall forever be in our hearts.”
With that I ended the conversation and I turned away because tears already rolling down my cheeks. God, was I right when I tell them that? Will they understand your will?
A week has passed when he spent wonderful time with all his family members especially his two little girls and Amy. He was all smiles and he prayed everyday; rebuilding his relationship with God again. Just when we thought we have gained some time, he suddenly collapsed. And since then, everything has become history.
“Sis, I have lost faith… I don’t think I could continue to believe in God anymore,” she cried seeing Boon Sin in the emergency room, motionless. I hugged her and we both cried. I was lost for words because I really can’t answer her. What do you think I should tell her? Don’t worry, God will heal him? Or “It’s ok la, God will take care of everything?” Such words are meaningless in that emergency room when we cried our heart to God.
The family members came and saw him for the last time. The aged mother was heartbroken beyond comfort. Seeing them, my heart wrenched, “God, you are their comfort but I have no words of comfort for them for my heart ache as much as they do. He is just too young to leave. He should have some years, at least to give the girls a chance to know him; at least to give him another chance to serve you.”
But I remained calm before them, knowing their pain, they remained calm too. Maybe we were trying to be strong for each other; maybe we are trying to show that it is ok; or maybe we are just acting to comfort one another. I really don’t know but no matter how much we are trying to hide our sorrows, when we see him for the last time, none of our eyes are dry. Tears rolled uncontrollably and hearts aches inconsolably. The exuberant pain is now visible in all our well-hidden emotion.
The pastor reading from Psalm 90
The pastor encouraged us to look to God who gave us life and who ordered our days. It is time to repent to God and to consider His mighty work. How true it is that man tends to forget God when they have many and when disaster strikes, suddenly they remember, “There is a God!”
May we never forget that there is a God who looks from above and who had ordered our days on earth. V12, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Yes, when we still have breath, let us be glad in the Lord.
Therefore, I shall proclaim like the Psalmist says, “May the favour of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
After the funeral service, I sat down with Daniel and we recalled some of the recent happenings. "Daniel, don't you dare to die before I do," I retorted. "I don't think I could ever live without you because you have spoilt me and you must be responsible for it."
"It is all in the hand of God," Daniel replied. "Don't forget, I am also a Hep C patient. If God calls me home, I shall have to go." Slowly he continued, "But one thing I am very sure: that God is faithful and He will take care of you."
With tears in my eyes, "I know, but I shall miss you madly... I know I will." And I hugged him tight... not willing to let go!