“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
So many situations stir up my grief. Last night as Steve and I walked we spoke of Becky and what we miss most about her. I realized that I am missing ‘today’. I miss who she would be and what she would be doing today. Today Becky would be a full-fledged Pharmacist. She would either be practicing her skills in some setting- likely a hospital – or she would be in a hospital residency utilizing her skills and learning even more. She was so intent upon that day and so eager to exercise that which she had learned. And Becky would be excellent in that role. She combined a deep and welling compassion with the most amazing intellectual grasp of her discipline. She would’ve fought tenaciously for the best outcome for those under her care. Today Becky would also be more focused on her family. She was always a good wife and mother and Jacob and the girls tell me stories that testify to that fact. But I know that she longed for more time with her family and believed that time would come once she was settled in a career and past the intensity of the last year of Pharmacy school.
So as I remember Becky what I miss most is that which will not be. Something that brought me to tears this morning also emphasized that lacking. My niece will have her first baby in about a week. She is over the top excited as she waits for this event. She also waits for my cousin, her Aunt Patty, to come be with her when the baby is born. She waits for Aunt Patty because her mother, my cousin Pam, died several years ago and is part of the great cloud of witnesses. Pam would’ve shared her daughter’s over the top joy and expectation even as Aunt Patty does now. I found myself ‘fast-forwarding’ to the days of my granddaughter’s weddings and the births of their children. How we will miss Becky’s presence during those events. Again I grieve that which will not be.
But my niece Alana’s joy and anticipation at Aunt Patty’s journey to be with her during this birth brings a side dish of comfort. God provides for His children and fills in the places where there is lack. Will Alana miss Pam during this experience? Of course! But God fills up with the deeply loving presence of Aunt Patty that which is lacking due to Pam’s early
death. Aunt Patty is beside herself with joy at being asked to be with Alana and Alana can’t wait for Aunty Patty to be there – joy abounds!
In all of this I take comfort in the sweeping vista that scripture offers. Read Job and see that the grief and questions that I express have plagued man since time began. Read
Ezekiel and see the power of death overcome by the power of God. God is in the midst of life and death, of time and eternity. God was in yesterday, He is in today, and He is in tomorrow. The tomorrow that I once anticipated will not be, but there is a beautiful God-breathed tomorrow coming and I can trust that there will be life and a full measure of His good provision in that day.
“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'” Ezekiel 37:12-14