As the second anniversary of my dear Chris’s death arrives tomorrow, I am naturally reflecting. Reflecting on lots of memories in my mind, like a virtual scrapbook lodged in my gray matter, and I’m turning page after page of family celebrations, firsts, events, and times with friends and extended family. Each snapshot has captured a special something in that frozen moment in time, whether it is a goofy smile or belly laugh, a look of anticipation, a flash of awe and wonder, or a moment of tenderness or thanksgiving.
Sometimes—when the subject was unaware my mind was recording the scene—among the mental photos of my family are looks of sadness, anger, anguish, worry, or fear. For how can we escape living in a fallen world? Reflecting in our faces at times is the brokenness of relationships, brokenness in the stuff of life around us, and our struggle at being confronted with the brokenness in our bodies, especially Chris’s the last years of his life.
These too, are moments frozen in time in the snapshots of my mind, none of which are a surprise to the Lord, and all of which are used by His sovereign goodness to reveal His faithful love and care, even when He allows the pain of loss and death.
God is the One who records every moment of our existence into the scrapbooks of our lives. I look back over the snapshots of October 11, 2009, and I’m broken all over again by the remembrance of Chris’s dying body, infection throughout and MS having taken its full course in the shell he was about to break free from.
I also recall experiencing a blanket of peace that not only covered Chris, but all of our family there in Stan and LeeAnn John’s home in Colorado Springs two years ago. The Holy Spirit was, in the very truest sense, our Comforter, as well as the promise behind I Corinthians 15:54-57:
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Truly, for us who celebrate Christ in our hearts, yet live with the reality of death and the remembrance of death every year for the rest of our lives, the promise gives hope and joy and strength—the sting of death IS swallowed up in victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
I live today and everyday in the good of this truth; I look forward to gaining my eternal reward at just the right time, God’s appointed time, and I press on by the power of God’s Spirit in me. Every page in the virtual scrapbook of my life is building a bigger picture of the glory of Christ.
And I look forward to future pages with thousands more virtual snapshots frozen in time of me and my family. May He be seen in every picture on every page!
…also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. ~Ephesians 1:11-14