"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
I am almost 60 years old but I will never forget the first loss of a person who was part of my daily life. My grandfather, Dot was 64 and loved by all. When I turned 18 I moved in with him and my grandmother because things were bad for me at home. My grandparents are more responsible for who I am than my parents ever were. I adored them both. That summer, just after my high school graduation, Dot was in a car crash. Not serious but he hit his head on the steering wheel. A few days later, it was apparent that something was seriously wrong. He was admitted for testing and was soon diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain. It was gut-wrenching to hear and seemed to come completely out of a clear blue sky. I had no experience with cancer or death or what might come in between. I was included in the decision of whether or not to tell him. I was so young… and selfish. I wanted him to fight and I begged my dad and grandmother to let him decide for himself. No one told me that no matter what treatment he had, it wouldn’t be enough to save him. He was too far advanced. In the 1980s treatment wasn’t as effective as now. My sweet grandfather only survived 16 days of treatment. It was slow torture. Then the following days… arrangements, choosing a coffin, funeral, graveside, monument, and flowers. It was like a slow-motion slide show and I couldn’t wake up from the horror that this man I had known since birth was just GONE.
I was so young, then. Young in my faith as well. There was more loss to come through the years. More wisdom to come. More acceptance to come. More faith to build with each loss, each trial, each heartbreak.
I have come to know that death is an inevitable part of life. Knowing that doesn’t make it easier to understand. My own maturity has helped me to grow more assured that my lost loved ones are with God the Father and that someday soon I will see them all again. I BELIEVE it with all my heart and soul.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I cling to this. And this:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
“Let not your heart be troubled. If you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
Our God is a keeper of promises. We all have doubts at times about everything we have ever believed but God himself will give you the faith and endurance to stand strong in Him, through whatever might come to us or those we love. No matter what you are going through… no matter how dark your days may be… seek Him out. He is there waiting for you to need him and He brings with him the bright shining hope of eternal life and reunion with our loved ones. Embrace Him and never doubt.
I am grateful for the sacrifice you made in sending your son to give his life in my place. I am unworthy of the gift you sent but you loved me enough to insure the possibility of seeing my loved ones again someday in your heavenly realm. I worship and praise you for a love incomparable to any other.
In Jesus’ name,
Karen Butler Ogle