“…Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate…And Mordecai came into the presence of the king…The king took off his signet ring…and presented it to Mordecai… ‘For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?’” Esther 2:19, 8:3, 8b.
I was the second of four daughters in my family, and had the privilege of being raised by amazing Christian parents. From the earliest of memories, I have been loved and cared for in ways that protected my heart from fearing the realities of this world. My mother and my daddy were the courageous shields between the safe haven of our home and an uncertain world I had not yet discovered. There was a constant flow of love, encouragement and praise that filled my heart and my life.
My dad had a passion for God and bringing children who didn’t know his king into the Kingdom. For the last ten years of his life my dad positioned himself at the king’s gate, working tirelessly to bring all those little ones standing in the outer courtyard into the inner sanctuary of God's love. I was visiting Mother and Daddy when I asked him about his experience giving his life to Christ. My grandfather was a Wesleyan minister throughout my dad’s life and fervently served God. As part of his sermons he always extended an invitation for those to come to the altar and give their life to God. I can only imagine Granddaddy’s surprise when after the prayer he lifted his head and his eyes met the eyes of his twelve year old son. How nervous Daddy must have been to walk that aisle as a young boy. He must have gotten his courage by knowing at the end of the aisle were the ones who knew him best and loved him most.
But on March 16, 2010 Daddy passed through that gate and left his position on this side of Heaven. He stepped onto that aisle for a second time, but this time giving up his physical body. He came into the awesome presence of the King where God presented everything to him.
We didn’t think we could bear losing him, nor did we think our family could ever be the same. But this is the way of God’s ultimate plan. As each of our family members slip into this world quietly and perfectly timed, each of us will pass through the King’s gate into eternity for reunion and celebration. While Daddy’s passing was difficult, it did not hold the power of disaster or destruction in our family.
‘When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”’ 1 Co 15:54.
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