For example: on my way back from England a few months ago, I got stuck in Detroit over night because I got bumped from a flight. My compensation was a travel voucher for $400 and a lovely night stay at a dingy airport hotel. I was really frustrated, had to take an unpaid day from work etc. Went back to work the day after I got put on a flight telling the woes of my traveling hardships. That very week I got a call that my Grandma's health had taken a turn for the worse, I needed to get on a plane as soon as possible back to Iowa if I wanted to see her. Got on the phone that night to try to book an emergency health flight (some airlines do discounts etc)--it just happened that the flight would have been over $900, then with 50% off for medical emergency it was around $450, then once I applied the $400 voucher--I only paid about $100. THIS WAS SUCH A HUGE BLESSING--I had been questioning WHY in the world was it ME that had to get bumped from that flight, why an unpaid work day. Only to find out that the $400 voucher was well worth that night in a hotel room. I don't make $400 a day at work! So-bumped from flight = blessing in that scenario. I got to see the fingerprints of God displayed beautifully through seemingly tragic circumstances.
As I mentioned, I got to go home over Easter to spend time with my Grandma. We had an amazing time to just enjoy being together as a family. Simple things like singing hymns with everyone in her hospice room for an Easter service and hearing my Grandpa's testimony about her role in his walk with the Lord.
Today I got the news that my grandma went home to be with Jesus. Death is hard. Really hard. At least for those of us that are 'left behind'. A sermon I read by Charles Spurgeon called "Death is loss, but oh, what gain!" put it brilliantly:
"What! weep! weep for heads that are crowned with coronals of heaven? What, weep for hands that grasp the harps of gold? What, weep for eyes that see the Redeemer? What, weep for hearts that are washed from sin, and are throbbing with eternal bliss? What, weep for men that are in the Saviour's bosom?What an amazing reminder of what we have to look forward to! ETERNAL BLISS WITH GOD! So yes, I agree with CH Spurgeon. I weep. Not that she has gone ahead, but that I remain here. This is not my home! Someday I will join her again, in unending joy and communion with Christ. I know that she is no longer hurting. I know that she is able to SING with every fiber of her being again, that she is in the presence of GOD, and that she is FREE.
No; weep for yourselves, that you are here. Weep that the mandate has not come which bids you to die. Weep that you must tarry. But weep not for them. I see them turning back on you with loving wonder, and they exclaim, "Why weepest thou?" What, weep for poverty that it is clothed in riches? What, weep for sickness, that it hath inherited, eternal health? What, weep for shame, that it is glorified; and weep for sinful mortality, that it hath become immaculate? Oh, weep not, but rejoice. "If ye knew what it was that I have said unto you, and whither I have gone, ye would rejoice with a joy that no man should take from you." - "TO DIE IS GAIN."
Ah, this makes the Christian long to die - makes him say, "Oh, that the word were given! O Lord of Hosts, the wave divide, and land us all in heaven!"
I fly home in the morning for the celebration of her life and amazing legacy. I'm really looking forward to remembering her zingy personality and wit, her die-hard competitive spirit, her beautiful voice, and her deep love for all of us. Lorna June Stevenson, you will be missed. DANCE on the streets of gold until I can come up and join you!!