It is now 12 years to the day that I sat alone in that hospice room listening to my dear mother making her transition from this earthly life to be present with the Lord.Â It was December 26, 2003 shortly after midnight that she crossed over.Â It was as if she waited to the day after Christmas.
It was a painful time.Â It would not have been any less painful if she had passed on Christmas Day, but knowing my mom, it probably had more significance to her if she did not depart on Christmas.Â Nevertheless, the pain of separation pierced my heart and left a hole so large that only in time the comfort and peace of God would fill.Â There was no doubt in my mind that my momâ€™s new life of joyful, eternal rest began the day she took her last breath. Â Yet, my heart was filled with sorrow and sadness. Â Although I knew that day would come, the pain still seemed unbearable. Â I could say it was the selfishness of an only daughter-mother relationship.Â It had always been my mom and me. No biological father was there for father/daughter relationship. However, I would rather believe, according to Godâ€™s word, that it is the sting of sin that results in spiritual and physical death, which causes us to grieve.Â It is the pain of separation that caused Jesus to cry out to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane as He hung dying on the Cross. Â Now more ever, I am convinced that Jesus knows how bad we hurt, how we feel, and the depth of our pain when our loved ones leaves us behind in this sin-sick world.
I still miss my mom after twelve years. Occasionally, when I am missing her, I look at the old photo albums and the DVD chronicling memories of her life.Â Amazingly, the hole that was so big in my heart for years has been filled by the comfort, peace, love and joy of my heavenly Father, and the ever-abiding Holy Spirit within me.Â Now praise fills my heart and I can rejoice when I remember my mother as I live in anticipation of the hope of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
As I praise God down here, I often find myself thinking about the praise that must be going there where many other dear family members and friends have gone.Â And then I am comforted by the words of Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55:
Â But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!Â Â It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.Â Â For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Â Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,Â this Scripture will be fulfilled:
â€œDeath is swallowed up in victory.
Â O death, where is your victory?
Â Â Â Â O death, where is your sting?â€
Until that day we shall be together to reign with the King of Glory forever and ever, rest in peace!
From pain to praise!