I write this with a sad yet hopeful heart. My dad passed away and went to be the Lord a little over a week ago. I am sad he is gone but hopeful, joyful even that he is most certainly in a better place in heaven. How am I so sure? I have faith…and know my dad was a good man, a kind and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather. Was he perfect? No, none of us are. But he believed in Jesus, believed in heaven. And for me that is enough to believe myself.
My dad loved sunsets…and instilled in me a love of them too. We’d watch together as the sun slipped down over the horizon…over the bay in Ocean City, Maryland or over the palm trees in the distance in Fort Myers, Florida. We’d count down the seconds as we said farewell to another beautiful day in paradise. But I have also come to love sunrises as well…the dawning of a new day, bringing with it life, love, hope.
I have a baby granddaughter on her way any day now…my daughter (my baby, the youngest) is going to have a baby, and that fills me with joy. I know my dad will be looking down and smiling at her when she is born, holding her in his heart, asking Jesus to please watch out for her.
It’s pretty awesome, God’s circle of life…how he may have taken one family member, one soul from this earth, but sends another to be with us. I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, written by King Solomon, which my son read at his grandfather’s beautiful funeral service: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens; a time to be born and a time to die…He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” We also sang “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me, and I could picture my dad entering heaven, probably dancing! Yes, God is good in times of loss and love.
I pray, Lord, that as we face loss, we hold onto love and hope in your eternal plan for those who believe. Thank you for the gift of life each day, from sunrise to sunset. Amen.