My grandfather went to be with Jesus late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. Somewhere around 1:20 a.m. the phone rang… It was my uncle calling to tell us to get to the hospital.
We dressed and left to pick up my grandmother and my aunt. Thankfully we only live 5 minutes apart – and the hospital is right in between…
I guess I could say a lot, but what’s really on my mind, what has been really on my heart is that God is faithful, God is sovereign, and God is gracious. He loves us so and my family has felt that keenly this last few weeks as we have walked this road.
The hospital staff were amazing. My Papa’s Dr’s… words can’t even begin to express my appreciation for the way the cared for us as a family. That every day of his hospital stay was a day that we had full access. Such a gift. No ICU, no machines, no visiting hours or limitations. Just as much time as we needed to love him and to say our good-byes. That we knew early enough to get everyone home who needed to be home. We were all together and he was lucid and able to enjoy that time seeing the richness that is our family. And maybe the greatest gift of all for us: his illness didn’t linger and the Lord didn’t let him hurt.
God is good.
Even in the face of great pain.
God is so so good.
This past few days have been busy… each day is a bit tougher than the last and as the day draws near to lay him down next to his father and mother, I find myself beginning to really grieve. Little by little my heart is forcing it’s way past my attempts to stave off this part of the goodbye…
But in all that, all I can say is that God is so so good. So good. He is great and greatly to be praised. He IS great, and greatly to be praised. HE is great and greatly to be praised. Even when my tears fall, even in the moments after life goes on for our family, I know beyond a doubt that God is great and greatly to be praised.
I know that my grandfather entered His presence early Thursday morning and that he has been praising Him every moment since. His mortal body is gone, but his spirit is in the presence of His Lord. His Lord who saved him from addiction, his Lord who restored his marriage and preserved his family. His Lord who gave him many years full of joy and love and generations that are equipped to carry on the legacy that he and my grandmother worked so hard to solidify. And I know that he is saying ‘my God, You are great and greatly to be praised’.
God gave us each the gift of knowledge that day. Somewhere around lunchtime, I knew with certainty that we were at the end of the road… I will be forever grateful that I was able to be there with him and spend the last few weeks loving him as much as I ever have before. I am thankful to the Lord that, in His Sovereignty and Omniscience, that even this is an act of kindness towards us.
I am grateful that He is oh so faithful.
PaPa, I told you before you left to be with Jesus how much I love you. No words are adequate right now to tell you more… I couldn’t say good-bye then and I can’t now, because I know that one day before it’s all done, I will get to see you again when I come to be with Jesus. I cherish you and I appreciate your deep abiding love and friendship…
Lord, You are great and greatly to be praised. We have said it again and again, but we humbly submit to Your will. We worship you now, as we have in easy times and we cherish You today even more than we did yesterday. You love us well and there is no shadow of turning within thee…
You are great. And greatly to be praised….