All day today I’ve been coming back to Ps 90. The first couple of verses keep echoing in my mind. Even when I visited my Mom late this afternoon and prayed with her, I found myself praying using the phrases, “from everlasting to everlasting,” and “God, you’ve taken care of us from the beginning.”
As we plan the details of the Celebration of Life service on Saturday, I keep reminding myself – and anyone else within earshot – this is a worship service where we honor Lois by focusing on the life of Christ in Lois. This is about God who numbered Lois’ days on earth before the mountains were even born! We will worship the Lord who created the universe, the stars, the earth, and all of us! Just as life begins in the mind of God before conception ever occurs, life comes to an end only if and when God allows that to happen. If He has the hairs on our head numbered, then he knows the exact number of times our hearts will beat; the total times we will take a breath.
I woke up this morning full of anticipation: what will God do today? In what ways will He reveal Himself today? How will He allow me to lead our family into a greater appreciation of His presence, comfort, hope, and peace? Please don’t misunderstand this, I certainly didn’t want Lois to die but I also wouldn’t have missed this experience.
Lois and I had several conversations about the cyclical nature of our relationship with God. It seems when God allows difficult times, tough stuff, to come into our lives that those are times when we experience spiritual “growth spurts.” It’s so easy to miss these learning opportunities. I recall talking about this on our anniversary in August. Lois and I looked back on the 34 years we had together and speculated about times when things were tough and wondered if we missed some of what God was showing us or teaching us. We don’t pretend to have done everything right! Not even close! But we were convinced that God was in the middle and, not only that, but in front and behind us.
A dear friend called today and talked about how short Lois’s life was. I reminded her that it wasn’t as short as some but that in the grand scheme of things all life is short. Try this: blink your eyes twice. Which blink was the shortest? It’s hard to tell, isn’t it? Those two blinks are like two lives – one short and the other long. But in God’s timeframe there is little difference. After all, if a thousand years is like a day or even a watch in the night, our lives are but a blink in God’s grand plan. And yet He cares about you and me. He comforts and shields and protects, from everlasting to everlasting.
Just a reminder: There will be a special Celebration of Life service at Northgate Alliance Church in Ottumwa, IA on Saturday, September 19 at 1:30 pm. The family will receive friends and visitors both prior to the service beginning at Noon and following the service. There will be a private graveside service to lay the body to rest on Friday afternoon. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be directed to the Pekin Ministerial Association, 205 W 4th, Packwood, IA 52580 or Keokuk County Hospice, 420 N. Main St., Sigourney, IA 52591.