For much of my life, I never had to deal with losing people close to me. Growing up, I went to a lot of wakes and funerals because my church is massive, but I never really knew the people who passed. But since college started, the Lord had flipped my life upside down in every way. (I like to compare myself to Job, just not being as righteous. Pre-2002 everything was going my way, and Post-2002 I started to have trials, struggles, and issues…and I’ve been learning to still lift praises up to God, because He is just that good.)
I think many people consider me very…ummm…stoic when it comes to situations such as death, or hurt, or any sort of sadness. Some might even say that I’m pretty emotionless. I just deal with the issues much differently than most people do, or most people expect. And as I re-evaluate it, I realize more and more my desire to see God’s kingdom expand, and that is how I can be so joyful at times of loss.
The winter of my freshman year of college, my gradfather passed away. It was the day before I had to head back to school, so it was quite an odd time. This was the first real loss for me, and I really wasn’t sure how to react. What got to me, and what always gets to me, is just seeing my dad get choked up. This firm, straight-faced man just couldn’t keep his composure so much because his heart broke for his father. I knew that my grandfather loved the Lord, though. In my few times in India, I never was able to speak to my grandfather because he only spoke malayalam, and I only spoke English. But what I do remember was just that he always was praising God in everything he did. And so when he passed, I knew that he had greater things in store for him, and it brought me joy.
My grandmother followed the same path. This time, it was my mom’s mother, and it hurt me to see my mom so upset. She was able to go to India a few weeks ago to basically say her goodbyes as we knew it was only a matter of time, but you can never be ready for such a loss. Again, my memories of my grandmother was always having family prayer every night. She always was praying, always reading the bible, always saying to thank Jesus…I know where my mom got her heart for the Lord. And again, when I heard my grandmother passed away, there was an initial shock, but again and sort of peace knowing that her heart is finally at home.
Throughout college, more and more people have passed away around me. People that I were friends with, acquaintances with, or just people living in a 5 mile radius of me. And of all the people that have passed, the ones that broke my heart the most were those that did not know Jesus. Especially with people who I’ve interacted with, a part of me feels as if I didn’t use my time wisely in sharing with them the joy I have in Jesus. I realize my emotions rise the highest for those who have no more hope. As long as we have another breath to breathe here on earth, we have a chance to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. But we don’t know how long that time will last. There’s no definite time period that we know of. All we know is we have time now, and before we know it, our time is up. Until that time comes, I praise God for the hope that others still have. I’m pressed to pray more and more that someday…one day…before their time is up, those that haven’t accepted Christ will recognize the truth and accept it for themselves. All I can do is pray. The Lord is sovereign…the Lord is good.