Can I mention what many of us are asking? “What will 2020 bring?” If we knew now, what we will know on Christmas of 2020, would we even want to start the new year? Or, would we anxiously jump into January?
Well, it doesn’t matter. You can’t tell the future…none of us can. So, buckle up. Probably some good stuff will happen, and probably some bad stuff will happen. It’s life.
What I can do now is prepare for the hills and valleys that will befall me. How does one prepare for such thing?
This year, in experiencing the death of my wife, I realized that I was prepared. Jana’s life ending was sudden and completely unexpected, but I was “ready.” This type of readiness does not preclude sorrow, grief, intense pain, or the days, weeks, and months of cloudy thinking. The preparedness that I possessed would allow me to keep traveling through the valley.
Faith. Being able to walk through extreme lows in life begins with faith in Jesus. The ability to walk through life, at all, begins with faith in Jesus. This earth-place is not “it.” There is more. Life is far too short to be satisfied with the years of human existence you may be blessed with. Eternity with the Father, as a saved sinner, is at the end of this difficult, painful, beautiful life.
Love. If it weren’t for my love of Jana, I would not have been prepared for her departure. I loved her dearly, and showed that love. She also loved me, and showed her love. We had no regrets. Our marriage was one of love, respect, and care for the other.
Bonding. Our family is close. Jana and I loved raising our children. I praise God that Jana was here for most of our daughter’s journeys at home. The four of us have always been very open with each other, enjoyed each other’s company, and served the Lord together. We, as a family, had prepared ourselves for, undoubtedly, one of the lowest valley’s in our lives.
Family of God. As active members of our church, we had formed many relationships with wonderful people while serving God. There are key elements in my previous sentence that connected us with a powerful social support system. The people of God will work and serve as the Spirit leads. I experienced that first-hand when I needed them the most.
Life may get rough this next year. You may find yourself in tough situations. What are you doing, now, to prepare for those difficult times? My pain is not over, I struggle with life…but, I know that the Lord is faithful, even when I am a mess. He will bring you through, but don’t wait till things go wrong to obey Him…
So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2 Corinthians 5:6-10