On a trip back from Central Texas after the birth of my first grandbaby, I was listening to some
country western music on the radio when a song came on that really caught my ear.
The song tells a story of a family, beginning when their children were small, and it tells how
the times changed and how the children and the parents changed during those times. It ends
with the father buried beneath the old maple tree and the daughter now a grandmother. The
theme of the song is that time marches on and the only thing that ever stays the same ~ is that
That song struck a definite chord in me! I remember quite vividly how I felt so few years ago
when I lost my Mom and Dad. I remember not only the deep sorrow, but the feeling of being
orphaned at the age of 46. The world suddenly grew a thousand-fold and I felt so small and
insignificant on this great big planet.
I remember thinking nothing would ever be the same again without them. I was right. Nothing
ever will. That's a real fact. But that doesn't mean nothing will ever "be".
It hasn't been so long ago since that great loss in my life. But what changes have occurred
during those few years! My daughter married and now has a baby of her own. Suddenly I'm a
grandmother. Suddenly I feel more and more like my Mom.
A few years ago I could not have imagined the joy I experienced witnessing the birth of my
first grandchild. In fact, I could not imagine EVER feeling such joy again in my life. But time
does march on, and with it, come so many changes. Not only do the times change, but WE
change. It's totally amazing to me just how much I have changed in only these four years -
without Mom and Dad.
The question is this: How did this happen? How did I get this far in such a short time? It hasn't
been that long! I must admit, that sometimes it seems like they left me only yesterday, and
sometimes it feels as if they've been gone forever.
During those first days I spent so much time tending to their affairs that I didn't have time to
grieve. Then I spent probably more than my share of grieving time. One day during the
grieving process, and I'm not sure exactly what day, I came to realize that until I could
understand their death from God's perspective instead of my own, I would never be able to get
beyond my grief and truly be able to "live" again.
My perspective was filled with sorrow, of watching my loved one die, sitting by a bedside
watching the last breath, the last pulse of life, and the light going out of them as they left me.
That perspective was one of great pain and sorrow. One of no hope. One of despair.
So, what is God's perspective? It's something so very simple, but so very hard for some of us
to grasp. His perspective is that we are eternal beings, created to live eternally, not just for the
60 or 70 years that my parents lived on this earth. Eternally. Hey, guys, that means forever!
So if we are to live eternally, then what is death? The scriptures tell us repeatedly that death
is only the end of the physical body, not a death of the soul. Death is only a change, as the
caterpillar changes. My parents shed their mortal body, and rose again (as Jesus promised!)
to live eternally in a place where there is no sickness, no sorrow, and no pain - only JOY.
Until I accepted this, my soul cried out "Where is my joy?" None could be found and it felt as if
I was doomed forever to a life of total despair.
Time does march on as as it does, so does life. Things change, people change, and times
change. I disagree with that country western song on one point. It says that the only thing that
stays the same is that everything changes. There is ONE thing that NEVER changes. God
never changes. His love for you is the same today as it was the day you were created. His
faithfulness and his love never change.
"I, the Lord, do not change." ~ Malachi 3:6
Trust in His unchanging, eternal love for you, for only then will you truly find peace.
|Time Marches On
© Ferna Lary Mills
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Life After Loss
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