When I learned the news of my (step) father's passing into the hands of God, I managed to crawl into my own private hell. I had a thousand and a thousand more thoughts pounding in my head and my heart hurt so I couldn't stand the pain.
My thoughts were about the things I wanted to say but didn't. I thought about all the things I should have said but couldn't. I wont tell you all of the things I would have said to Jim if I could have had one more day, one more hour, one more minute with him, but I know there would have been one more I love you.
How we each handle death is individual and we must be reminded that death does not know age or race and it has no barriers. Ecclesiastes reminds us all we have a time to die assigned by God.
When Jim was very young he and his brothers and sisters lost both of their parents. I often wondered how one would manage to deal with that kind of pain. As I grew up and finally stopped running from God I knew that answer.
Jim held his hope in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He knew from an early age that true peace from this world could only come with knowing the Lord. I can't remember a lot of scriptures being quoted as a child, but I remember the poetry Jim would write about the loving God he would meet one day.
Everyday we shape the lives of those around us by our actions. Sometimes these actions leave us with a smile. Sometimes these actions leave us laughter or tears. Sometimes even anger. But the most important thing we need to share is the hope in Christ.
Each of us who know Christ hold the power to share Him with another person who may be lost or hurting. In our actions, with our words, with a prayer or sometimes with the things we don't say.
Romans 8:1-2 states: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
We know Death leaves behind brothers and children and sisters and spouses and grandchildren and parents and much more family and always friends. In each one of us there is something special that death left behind that makes us who we are today.
But above all Death leaves behind Life.
Just know that the love Jim had for each of us here, and for those who are not here is unspeakable. It was a simple emotion from him. I am at peace knowing that he cared for us all. I will miss him and I know others will too. With these thoughts I am no longer in my private hell. I have hope.
Cherish the life we have and in each step we take remember we are not promised tomorrow here on earth. But we are promised eternal life in Christ! If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, learn from those that have life in Christ.
True peace at the end of each day is not with the world and man's way. It's with our Father in Heaven and Trusting in God. Jim is with that loving God where there is no pain, no tears, only joy and laughter and peace. My prayer for each of you to have that same comfort when death leaves us behind.