A few of the searches used to find this blog come from people looking for help in dealing with death. I am not sure what kind of encouragement they were looking for, but since it has been a year since my mother died, I thought I would share some of the thoughts I had. What is recorded here is not exactly what I did. I know I read several passages of scripture, but I don’t remember all of them. What I have written are some of the main thoughts I had.
One response I had was relief and joy. Relief that my mother was free from pain and suffering; joy that she was in heaven with her Saviour. She had trusted Jesus Christ as her Saviour in her youth. She believed that when the Bible said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31), and “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9), God would keep His Word. One of her favourite passages was John 14:1-3: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
Another thought I had was how to live without my mother – her advice, her joy in her grandchildren, her encouragement, her support, her prayers. I had to acknowledge that God had done His best by taking my mother.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. . .
the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them. . . .
My mother was safe with the Lord; I could not be a help to her any more. There were living people who needed my attention. To direct my attention from myself I definitely needed the Lord’s help. One psalm I often turn to is Psalm 63, particularly the first verses.
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.
I remember that after I read several passages in the Bible I sang. I can’t remember which song I sang, but I think it was the doxology.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
For those who are reading this because you are looking for help because of a death, I pray that these verses are an encouragement. The Lord is the one who can help; look to Him.