Unfortunately, everything in this world will eventually come to an end. Whether it is bad or good – all things do come to a screeching end.
No matter how much we wish for it to not happen, it happens. And most likely, it will happen when we least expect it. In a blink of an eye, each one of us will be standing by the casket of a loved one, wondering how in the world did we get here?
Just two weeks ago, I found myself in such a place. All of us wish for life to go on and on, and often times, we cannot even imagine ourselves doing anything differently or living in this world without that special someone. But then the call comes and the “happily ever after” becomes a sad, empty feeling. I remember thinking to myself, as I stood at the side of my Mother two weeks ago, that all of this was just a bad dream and at any moment I would wake up and hear her call out my name. If only I could have just one more chapter to live out with her. One more page to write or just simply one more word to speak.
But I didn’t wake up. This was real life.
The people passed by her side and told me all of their stories of her goodness and then they left. The flowers wilted and fell away. The cards and the calls stopped coming. It was time for me to realize that there were no more chapters in our story. No more pages to write. As much as I wished it away, the emptiness I felt deep in my soul was indeed the realization that God had chosen a different ending to the book Mother and I were writing (living out) together.
There was no warning. In one moment Mom was here talking and laughing and the next moment she was gone to see her Jesus. No time to say good bye. No time to say “I love you”. No time to put our finishing touches on our final chapter. Mom never liked half read books, in fact, like me, she did not like bad endings either.
But you see, as a Christian, Mom’s ending wasn’t so bad. In fact for her, it wasn’t the end at all, but only the beginning. She is experiencing things in heaven now that none of us can even imagine. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more tears. Thankfully, thru the cross, Jesus interjects hope for those of us left behind. Words like “the end” are replaced with “forever”. Paul assures you and me that “we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51) and when the end comes knocking at our door, Paul reminds us that because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can confidently say, “Oh death …where is your victory? (v.55)
I don’t know how many of you reading this have already experienced the end of a loved ones life here on earth. Or perhaps someone has death crouching at their door right now. I want to encourage you that each of us have our own stories to write and even when the ending is not quite what we expected or planned, God can wipe our tears and give us a glimpse of how the ending of our story may just be the beginning of a new one.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” -Psalm 30:5Thanks Mom for the chapters in my life. I will reread the pages often and remember that every story must have an ending. And a beginning.