|We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of the Ages, God before time
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on highHoly, holy, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name, be unto Your name
We are the broken, You are the healer
I’ve been playing Be Unto Your Name over and over since yesterday afternoon. A friend from childhood and my youth group, a mom with six children, lost her son unexpectedly in his sleep. He was eight.
This family is no stranger to tragedy. Her only brother was killed in a car wreck the week he was to start college. Her mom died of cancer not too many years later. She knows the pain of losing those she loves.
Since I’ve read and reread Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are this past year, I almost immediately wondered, “How on earth can we give thanks in this? Isn’t this a parent’s worse nightmare?”
No. Almost, but no. You see, this little guy had taken care of his eternity. His name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, just like his precious grandmother and uncle. I don’t know how heaven works, but I hope this little boy is sitting on a porch swing, listening to his grandmother’s Southern accent tell stories about his mama when she was little, and the faithfulness of God to their family.
As I pray for this family, there are things I can praise Him for: I thank the Lord with all my heart this little one is with Him for eternity; I can be grateful for the godly home that prepared him to choose life with Jesus, and I can ask Holy Spirit to impart the grace and strength to my friend and her family as they walk through the valley of the shadow. And I am so thankful for the bedrock of faith this family has at their foundation, that the Lord has brought His Word to their minds to comfort them, that they are leaning on His everlasting arms and they have a community of believers surrounding them with love and prayer.
Tonight as I write this, the dishes are not quite put away. There are stickers stuck on the floor of the playroom, unfolded clothes in the dryer and weeds in the flower bed. And there they stay. I so easily forget what is I’m sure obvious to the Lord, that we are a vapor.
Life is not certain. Not today, not tomorrow, not the next breath. So, with that, I’m off to play Mastermind or color a picture–whatever the little one tugging at my arm wants to do this evening. And the hugs, kisses and prayers this evening will be even more meaningful and fervent than usual, as I try to take a snapshot in my mind and heart of this moment in time that will not come again, and pray the next reminder that we hold this treasure in fragile jars of clay is not too soon, nor this truth too soon forgotten.