Thursday, December 10, 2015
A Christmas Like No Other
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
This is going to be a different Christmas from all others in my life. Last week, my Mom fell and received an excruciating pelvic fracture that only can heal through rest and time. I was with her when she fell and saw her go down. I ran to her but did not get there in time. Now her life, and indeed all of our lives, have been rearranged.
Mom always loved Christmas. When I was a little girl, she tried so hard to make it special for me and my two sisters. I will always treasure a special memory of the note she wrote me when she gave me my last baby doll. I was growing up, and she gently told me it would be my last one, though I was reluctant to leave childhood behind.
I was just starting to get into the spirit of things last week when I accompanied Mom and Dad on a trip to my sister's house, and it was on our way there she fell. At first I thought she was very fortunate, for she was able to walk when we helped her get to her feet, but it seemed that her pain only got worse and worse. It was not until we returned home that she got the XRay that confirmed she had a small fracture.
Now, Mom needs my help. It will mean travelling to her home and staying there and helping my Dad, at least until she begins to improve. The last two nights have been difficult when she wakes up in excruciating pain. Somehow, my zest to write Christmas cards and do more shopping has gone by the wayside.
But I have comfort, even in knowing that my parents are aging, and that one day they will leave us to carry on without them. Mom and Dad know the Lord, and I will see them when I get to heaven. Every morning, they have devotions together. They read from the Word and pray together. They didn't do that when we girls were little, but now it is their daily habit. They went from going to a ritualistic type of church to an evangelical one, and that didn't happen until we girls were grown and gone too. In fact, all of my family attends evangelical churches where the Word of God is taught. I am so thankful.
And so, I sit here and try to process what the near future holds for me. Mom's advice is "one day at a time," and I have to admit she's right. Jesus said to take no thought for tomorrow. My joy now is to see my own grandchildren and enjoy their delight in new life and adventures. The train of time stops for no one. One day, I will be in Mom's shoes, if the Lord tarries.
My comfort in all of this is in Christ, and that my family, whether awake in the Lord or asleep in death, will hear that trumpet call one day. Christ is the one thing that makes life worth living. Whatever hope do we have without Him. Current events, which seem to spiral downward in a vortex, faster and faster every day, make our lives uncertain, but Christ is our stronghold and our hope.
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,
And the strength of salvation;
The fear of the LORD is His treasure. Isaiah 33:6
A friend of mine who lost her mother recently encouraged all her friends to spend Thanksgiving in gratitude with our parents, if we still had them. I never realized how timely her words would be. One day, it will be too late to show my gratitude to my parents. The time to love and help them is now.
Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.