Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Precious in the sight of the Lord

"Precious in the Sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" (Psalm 116:15)
Today, my aunt Norma, for whom you all have joined in and prayed with me, passed away. It had become quite evident recently that this was God's will and that to answer our prayers He was going to give her a Heavenly, perfect healing - rather than healing her here on earth. It is definitely not my will, not the way I was praying and hoping for, but I know that right now she is in heaven rejoicing with the Lord and having a blessed reunion with loved ones including her husband who died 24 years ago. That obviously gives me comfort, but doesn't stop the hurt or the tears. My aunt was one of the most giving, selfless people I know, and Kenny said something to me when I called him about how "this was like her, to hold on until after Christmas for everyone else." So true. I started trying to think of Scripture and I found this verse and decided to look it up. A couple things I read mentioned this -- that precious here is meaning precious and costly. It definitely feels costly to us. I told Kenny Monday that this doesn't even seem real, the idea of my aunt not being on this earth, not being able to see her, doesn't even feel possible. But then I was reminded that it was costly to God too. My wonderful aunt is in heaven right now because of the great price that God paid, the death of His son on the cross. The sting of death for her is not there, she has a perfect brand new body and is seeing her Saviour face to face right now. And then I read this part of a sermon
(Precious) means that the death of every saint is a demonstration to all creation that Christ's atoning death was gloriously successful. It was not in vain. Therefore, the arrival of every saved saint in heaven is another trumpet-tribute to the preciousness of Christ's life and death on this earth. He must (it seems to me) take each one by the hand, as it were, and lead the saint to the Father, and say, "Look! Another trophy! Another 'fruit of my travail.' Another sinner saved and soul made perfect. O Father, look what we have wrought! Is this not precious!"
I can truly only imagine what it must be like for my aunt right now, we are hurting, we are missing her already, and yet she is in the arms of Christ. And for Him to be taking her by the hand and leading her to the Father like a precious trophy of His wondrous grace! Not only is she excited to see HIM, but He's excited to see her too! How precious for her!!!
I hate thinking of my girls growing up not knowing my aunt, not having memories of her like I do, but somehow it has been a comfort to talk to my Isabella. She doesn't understand at all, or maybe she understands more than I think and just finds the idea of being with Jesus much happier than my tears. Last week, she asked me why Nunu was still in the hospital, I told her that Nunu was still sick and she said "BUT I prayed for her" (You know how she expects those prayers answered right then) So today, I was able to tell her that God answered her prayers, that Nunu was in heaven, she wasn't in the hospital, she wasn't sick, she was all better -- but we just couldn't see her. We talked about how Jesus died on the cross and I asked her why He did that -- she responded "so we could go to heaven." Then I told her that because Jesus died and Nunu loved Jesus and trusted Him, that Nunu is in heaven right now. We talked about how Nunu is like an angel, how we can't see her, but that she is in heaven with Jesus and how wonderful that is. (Of course, she liked the idea of Nunu having wings like she did in the Christmas play :) ) I asked her "Do you think Nunu is giving Jesus a hug right now?" And she smiled and said "Yeah!" I know she doesn't really understand, I know that when we go up in the next day she will probably ask about Nunu and maybe where she is, but I also know that through her childish innocence, she has reminded me what a truly joyous event this is. It doesn't stop the tears, it doesn't stop the hurt, it doesn't stop the heartache I feel for my cousin who just lost her mom or my dad and aunts and uncle who just lost their sister. But I have to cling to the comfort and the joy knowing that my aunt is no longer plagued with this awful cancer, that she is no longer in pain, she no longer has to fight -- when she "woke up" this afternoon it was in the presence of our Lord.

Face to face with Christ, my Savior
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,Jesus Christ Who died for me?

Face to face I shall behold Him,Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,I shall see Him by and by!

What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.

Face to face—oh, blissful moment!Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!!

We hope you all are having a blessed Christmas! This morning as we got the girls out of bed, we read the book we have called Baby Jesus and Kenny asked Isabella -- "You know how Polar Express says the first gift of Christmas, what is the REAL first gift of Christmas?" She responded "baby Jesus!" With all the celebration, I hope that we all remember what an amazing gift that God has given us in His son and the wonderful privilege we have to worship Him!

Friday, December 14, 2007

My little witness

Isabella is my social butterfly, wherever we go she is constantly talking to people. And she assumes that they all want to talk to her. :) And its not just, Hi, how are you? type of talk, she normally wants to go sit with the people and talk. Trust me, this has made it challenging trying to teach her that some strangers are bad. One day while we were in the car, I had been talking to her about how some strangers are bad, so unless she is with mommy or daddy she can't just talk to strangers -- so she asked me "Mommy, why are some strangers bad?" Hmmm, thinking, thinking "Well, baby maybe some of them don't love Jesus..." "WHAAATTTT? They don't love JESUS? I have to talk to them!" After that conversation, I should have known what was coming next. Yesterday we had a family day and took a little day trip. We were out to eat for dinner and Isabella decided that the family next to us needed her company. The dad and son had already left and the mom and daughter were waiting to pay the bill, so Isabella started talking to them, then she slid off her seat and onto one of theirs. Of course, we're apologizing, but the lady said "How could you say no to these sweet eyes" Then as we were talking to the lady Isabella says "Do you know what? Jesus died on the cross FOR US! And then he rose again. " Oh the sweet innocence and boldness of my child. And yet, I am nothing like her. How easy it should be for us to share the exciting news that Jesus died for us and he rose again. My sweet girl doesn't even understand what this means yet (I'll share a story about that later) and yet she knows that it must be exciting news that everyone should hear. I hope she never loses this boldness! Kenny said last night "Wow, I think she is going to open some doors for me to talk to people" :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Are you having fun yet?

We are! I'm already becoming a "Debbie downer" and thinking how we only have 2 1/2 weeks left of this season. :) I'm so slack on blogging that I'm not sure if anyone is even still reading, but right now I am both busy with Christmas things and my ever "busy" children, and just having fun enjoying my family through this season. Hope you are doing the same!