I have mentioned in previous blogs that my family and I have recently moved. We have been pleasantly surprised to move to an area of the country where I have family living. Family that I’ve not seen in almost 20 years. Recently we had a family reunion. Don’t you just love family reunions? I do. Our family reunions are a riot. At the most recent one I attended, my cousin rented a slip-n-slide. We had all ages, big and small, OLD and young slipping and sliding. Also, where else but a family reunion can you gorge yourself on peach cobbler & nobody will look at you like you are some kind of weirdo. They already know you’re weird… not like they can throw you out or disown you…you’re family! Ain’t nothing they can do about it.
At this most recent reunion I was able to see my Uncle Harlis. When we were kids he’d let us ride on his golf cart. I remember one time he took my brothers and I to the beach. He warned us several times about not stepping on fire ant hills. My brilliant brother, the one that is now a doctor, promptly found an ant hill and stepped in it. Why did he do that? Who knows? However, watching my Uncle swat ants off my brothers leg while lecturing him on the finer points of fire ants is forever burned in my memory.
My Uncle Harlis is currently nearing the end of his struggle with cancer. I dont like that. In my mind’s eye he will always tower over me with hugs that could squeeze the life out of you. I don’t like how time, disease or life accidents degrade the body. I have thought long and hard on the topic of death. My best friend was killed in a bicycle accident when we were in high school. I am not one of those who can simply reflect on the good memories to get me through. I want more…answers. Why is death part of life?
A good friend of mine says that death is mercy from the Lord. These bodies aren’t permanent. I’ve learned that through my own physical struggles. I guess it still doesn’t make the season of change that age brings any more comforting. I can’t put any logic behind death. I do know that we are not supposed to have the answer to everything…Deut 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord, but those things which are revealed belong to us and our children so that we may do all the words of this law.” I am also comforted to know that Jesus cried when his friend died…think shortest verse in the Bible…Jesus wept.
I know that Christ died so we can have life abundant…big life and lots of it. Our job is to live and live out loud. When I end up in Heaven I don’t want God to have this big table filled with gifts. Gifts that He wanted to give me, but I was so confined to my box that I didn’t see the gifts/blessings and open them up. In this life, short of sin, I want to do everything to make sure I taste ALL that the Lord has brought to the table for me to eat. To go beyond the boundaries of legalistic do’s and dont’s and enjoy the full measure. I want to eat life abundant.
I know that our God is one of seasons. Not just fall, winter, summer, spring…but seasons of life. He navigates us through each season teaching us to breath in His rhythm. Sometimes we want to hurry up and get out of the season He has us in. Those are the times we spiritually starve ourselves and miss Him trying to feed us during the difficult seasons of life. It’s tough to slow down and live in the tough times.
Today I spent time on the phone praying with my cousin as she watches her dad go through this final season in his life. This time is difficult, but it isn’t without grace. God provided me a singular opportunity to see my uncle unexpectedly before all of this happened. For that, I am eternally grateful. Thankful to have hugged him one last time in this twilight season. I hate that death is apart of life, but our God is faithful. He has conquered death and given us life abundant. A new life with Him. Hope.
Todays blog is dedicated in love to my Uncle Harlis.