by Deanne Trahan
Everything changed the day my mother died. Cancer took hold of her diminutive frame until her final heartbeat. She left behind a husband full of grief and three children – all felt lost, confused, lonely and stressed. Life would never be the same again!
In the last year before her death, we saw the pain and suffering in her hollow face, where beauty once graced her high cheekbones. Such a kind, patient, thoughtful, talented woman who meant everything to us. Dad always seemed angry, impatient, overwhelmed, and blamed God for taking his beloved wife in the prime of her life. This had trickle down effect as I also blamed God. Dad never came to terms with her death. He struggled for nearly 30 years, living in the past somewhat recursively, with only his precious memories before he died.
None of us ever expected to see our mother again. As I grew up, married and had children of my own, I thought about my mother often. I envied other women who had the support of their mothers. I felt hollow and sad at these times despite the new life I held in my arms. There were times that a song playing on the radio reminded me of her. In those moments I believed my mother was there with me, looking over me as it were. This gave me some comfort. I really thought the dead were somehow alive in some other place, just that we couldn’t see them. I know now that this was just wishful thinking on my part. Ecclesiastes 9:5 states “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing…”. Nothing means nothing; totally unaware of anything, like when in a deep sleep.
My story didn’t have a happy ending until many years later when I came to the knowledge that all of humanity will one day have the opportunity to live again forever and that God desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
“For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will”. (John 5:21) Both have the power and authority to raise the dead to life. Reading further in verse 25, we learn that in the future the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and will live. Verse 28 states, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth……”.
At first I couldn’t help but greatly marvel at learning this good news. At last, life and death made sense in the context of what God teaches me throughout the Bible. God is creating a family and we would all live again together, forever, according to His great purpose. Not only that, but there would be no more pain or suffering, no more death! (Revelation 20:4) The prophet Isaiah was inspired to write: “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces… “. (Isaiah 25:8)
Instead of feeling empty and hollow, God has given me such an amazing purpose for life, knowing that the day will come when my mother and father will learn the truth about God. This knowledge is so powerful it provides the impetus to Carpe Diem! Seize the day in humble obedience and thanks for this incredible opportunity of living with those we love forever. We need to listen to God and truly live His way. I hope you will too!