Dusk was drawing near. Sunlight slowly started disappearing, but it seemed sufficient for me to have a quiet time with the Lord and prepare the lesson, which I had to teach the Sunday school students the following day. A gentle breeze caressed me confirming that God’s creation, about which I often wonder with awe, is always indescribable. I climbed up the stairs with the Holy Bible, necessary stationery and sat in a very calm place under a coconut tree.
Within a span of just fifteen minutes, that place was strewn with cream-coloured coconut flowers, which reminded me of manna (Numbers 11:7-9). Squirrels were continually performing their pranks squealing, moving with great speed up and down the bark. One occasionally peeped into its nest, which it had meticulously built in a compact cozy spot. Sometimes it jumped onto the regularly formed leaves on the rachis of the coconut tree making it sway to its tune; their very rapid movements made some flowers drop like shooting stars. One squirrel even took time to give me a lordly stare, as if questioning, “What are you doing here in my area?” Three tender coconuts, probably just a couple of days after pollination, left the spathe one following another after an interval of time. Whenever they touched ground, I could note an increase in the decibel caused by the hidden fauna (squirrels, humming birds, rats, crows, mynah and so on) which in turn loaded my mind with many questions.
I wondered, why does this happen? Only a few become ripe coconuts. Some flowers wither or are deprived the privilege to enter the next phase, while some pass through all stages of life. Yet the place where I was seated looked very beautiful. I could sense incorruptible beauty in their untimely demise. I reassured myself: “You see, life is not measured by the number of years one lives. At the same time, to be used or not to be used is the decision of the Maker, isn’t it?” I drove away these wonderful thoughts, forcing my mind to concentrate on the Bible passage where Moses provided water for the murmuring multitude of Israel by the Lord’s command at Massah and Meribah (Exodus 17:7; Deuteronomy 16:6, 33;8).
After some time, my thoughts once again deviated. The previous day, I had handed a spiritual magazine to my sister hoping she would read it and furnish the synopsis of a few good articles. Later, handing it to me she commented, “Hey, don’t read such stuff.” Piqued by her consternate comment, I read the magazine word by word to find out why she, who had earlier asked for the latest issue of this magazine, now posed such a rebuking remark. Finally I found the reason for her confusing comment. There was an article titled “I have come to help you die.” A man named Joe Louis said, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”
Most of fear to talk about moving to a permanent place. But isn’t that something natural? Then why do we fear the shift? Are we not prepared to meet our Creator? Or, is our journey too demanding?
A preacher once said, “A child is born with a cry even as it steps into this wonderful world.” Life in itself marks the beginning of a journey towards a physical inevitable death leading to a glorious, eternal, celestial life. However, most of us are more bothered about the moment of this physical happing that the triumphant entry into glory land. Death can happy only to those who are in the living and it is only the living who fear to talk about this permanent shift. Yes, it makes us sad. But don’t fear or be worried. If we fear this permanent shift everyday, then surely we would cherish every moment of our life here on this planet earth. There would be no fight for ground, girl or glory.
Once again, I force my mind back towards preparing the lesson. The aim of the lesson to be taught was “The Lord is our Provider.” I took great care in preparing the study material. I jotted down what I wanted to tell the children as follows:
Never doubt the power of God. Don’t murmur against the Lord. Take everything to the Lord in prayer through thanksgiving and let your requests be made known to Him.
The following day, I explained the lesson with great authority having had the assurance that I conveyed God’s word clearly to the students.
Even as early as 1 a.m. the next morning, I received information that increased the systolic and diastolic operation of my coronary arteries and veins. A slightly muffled voice said, “You aunt expired at 12 a.m.” Immediately the question that involuntarily struck my mind’s monitor was, “God! Why! Why did this happen?” and simultaneously I heard another small still voice saying, “Hey, come on, My dear daughter! Yesterday with great authority you taught the young children not to doubt the power of God nor murmur against Him, but to take everything to the Lord in prayer through thanksgiving. Would you be able to abide by what you had taught?”
I alone could sense what seemed like some invisible instrument piercing my heart. I closed my eyes, pressed my lips and slightly warm tears flowed down my cheeks spreading on the pillow cover. After much thought, with great difficulty I knelt down to give thanks to the Lord for the beautiful, wonderful and precious life of my dear aunt. Having worked as a matron for many fruitful years, she served the people with great love, care and concern. Numerous incidents from her life flashed before my eyes. Sincerely I thanked the Lord for the innumerable souls who were cured by her kind words, clinical dexterity and the joy she restored to many families. Nothing can erase the good deeds done by her. The Lord taught me that day to practise what I preach and also enabled me to experience that quite often it is very difficult for a person to practise what one preaches.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if ther eis anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:6-8 NKJV).
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Thank you for this wonderful reminder about patience. Amen. God bless you. Praise God for all those that come to the Lord in India. I love the muslims and the indians who come to the lord. They are our brothers and sisters. God bless you in 2008.
You have brought up a very common happening in all our lives. We all profess to know the Lord and talk about the glorious Kingdom awaiting us. But we all tend to get upset when someone whom we love passes away. This article is one that really strengthens our mind and helps take these inevitable happenings with a peaceful mind. Thank you for sharing this.