For Gene, Stephanie, Tiffany and their sweet families in the loss of Lynn…precious wife, mother, grandmother and friend…
Aunt Teresa was my mother’s sister. Watching the two of them, I longed to have a sister of my own. When Mom and Aunt Teresa were probably around my age…they were still laughing and cutting up in that connected, I-share-your-history kind of way. I would watch them in wonder as they giggled and carried on. It was like time hadn’t passed…they were still two little girls…sisters.
I loved my Aunt dearly…always the encourager and yet straight forward…a woman of faith.
Written words are important to me and when she went home to be with Jesus, I just knew she would have written me something personal. I reasoned that she was sick for a while, so after all, she had the time. I asked mom if there was anything left for me. She said there wasn’t but she would check again. Nothing. Even though I knew it was unreasonable, I felt hurt. Aunt Teresa couldn’t have known I was expecting her to write me something. Not everyone is driven to write their thoughts on paper!
As I was grieving her loss and thumbing through my Bible (yes…I still read one with real pages…smiley face), I came across a verse I had never in my life noticed…ever. It was to me…written straight from the heart of God: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15 (NIV)
What a treasured thirteen-word sentence. It paints such a picture of the heart of God toward you and me. It tells me He has things in motion that there is absolutely no way for our finite minds to comprehend or even feel very good about. Yet, His heart…His mind…His love and His tears are with us.
I drew comfort from those words and remembered the way God had shown them to me when I didn’t have what I so wanted from my aunt.
Ten years later, during a deeply painful season for me, I was sitting with my mom in her Idaho bedroom and she matter-of-factly said, “Jude…you asked me about something written from Aunt Tres. I found this a while back and thought you might like to have it.”
She handed me a piece of paper with my aunt’s handwriting. It was a short note about her love for all of us which I barely noticed…because at the bottom she had penned, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
I was stunned.
I still am stunned as I write this.
For ten years I had drawn comfort about many things from words of care He knew I needed but were buried amongst my mom’s things. Ten years later, He miraculously declared again, His all-consuming love.
We live from miracle to miracle if we only choose to notice and thank Him for the little things. The little things aren’t little. They are puzzle pieces to the lives of faith He so wants us to draw from, in the depths of our pain.
It took some deep waters well beyond the home going of my aunt to recognize the tiny details…the small miracles…the puzzle pieces that God provides for our comfort and eventual rest. Over time, we learn to count on His heart…even when we don’t understand His hand.
We celebrate that Lynn is healthy and whole, basking in the love of God and enjoying His creation…something we cannot possibly fathom. Still…our hearts ache today for her precious daughters and their families, as well as her husband, whose deep…deep love is obvious to anyone who has seen them together. How thankful I am that Gene and his family are… and (moment by moment) will be…
Counting on His love…
He Giveth More Grace
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength as our labors increase; To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, Our God ever yearns His resources to share; Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.