Today my son’s world was rocked in a mere second by news he wasn’t ready for. Today he found out his grandmother, his father’s mother, had passed away. I didn’t need to hear the other end of the phone conversation when I heard him scream. That one second had told me what I had feared to start with, and my heart just broke for him. I knew it would be hard for him to understand, as both an autistic man as well as a new Christian. I immediately began to pray for peace to surround him during the days that lie ahead. Then I prayed for wisdom to say things that would comfort and lift him up.
The whole thing took me back several years to the phone call I got while sitting in a friend’s driveway in Nashville, TN. It was the phone call that told me my son’s father was dead. Massive heart attack. I felt like someone had literally knocked the air out of me. He was only 41 and I had just spoken with him hours earlier, making jokes and talking about fun stuff. Then, with one phone call, he was just…gone.
Coming To Grips
When something like this happens, it takes a while to come to grips with it. I mean, of course, you know it’s true, but the reality has to set in too. And it does. With it comes all the memories, good and bad, but regrets come too. Things that should have been said and weren’t. Things that didn’t get said that should have. Eventually, you learn to move on from thoughts like that, but I think it’s one of the first things that happen.
One of the ways my son did this was to come straight home and call his other Mammaw, to tell her the news. They talked for awhile and I didn’t listen to the whole conversation. I could hear sobbing and I could hear anger, but I was thankful he was talking. Some people bury their grief, to deal with it at another time perhaps. I’ve done this myself, and I’m just glad he didn’t. I know all to well what it can do.
We also have a very supportive church family that I thank God for too. I let the Pastor’s wife know what had happened after getting a message from her. We had missed service, which isn’t at all like us, and she was checking on us to see if things were ok. After finding out what had happened, she issued a call to prayer from our prayer warriors and I immediately felt a weight lift from my shoulders. When I told my son, I saw that he could feel it too. I also let a few others know, a few that I knew would pray and seek the Lord on our behalf. Those people are truly jewels of rare price!
It’s Like That Sometimes
Over the course of the evening, I’ve thought about how quickly death can overtake a person and it chills me to the core. First of all, because it shows that sometimes, for those who plan to “wait” to make things right with God, there might not BE time! Second, if we’re not LIVING ready, like my son’s grandmother was doing, then that moment might catch us unaware. The Bible warns us by telling us to be sober and vigilant, and always watch for Jesus’ return. Our life is but a vapor and His return is soon coming.
But in the midst of all that’s happened this evening, the Lord impressed another thought on me. That just in the same way that we can be overcome by death or any other form of destruction, we can also be overtaken with blessings!
Deuteronomy 28:2 says this: “And all these blessings shall come on the, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.”
Now, I tell you, that’s good news! Most of the time, we aren’t expecting the bad things, but neither are we expectant of the good things either. Maybe we should be?
A Good Example
This bad news sent a shocking blow today, that’s for sure. As unexpected as it was, it’s still hard to recover. But in the same way, I was also overtaken with good news. As I stood preparing lunch this afternoon, I was asking God to show me where our sustenance for a certain “this and that” was going to come from. I almost said that I knew he could even meet me at rock bottom and do an amazing thing. BUT… we are nowhere near rock bottom, praise God.
Still, just like He’s apt to do, He sent not only a confirmation, but solid proof. He made it known that He hears and answers prayer still! Not just in this one instance, but in so many. Why, if we truly thanked Him for all that He’s done for us, we couldn’t collect enough breath with which to breathe afterwards!
The point is, both good and bad things will happen. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to get some advance warning, but many times you don’t. Hopefully, I will be able to comfort my son by explaining how death is swallowed up in victory for Christians like his grandmother. I know it won’t ease his heart for how he’s going to miss her though. And that will be hardest for this Mama to deal with.