On Sunday, February 10 of 2019, my mother went home to be with Jesus.
Only a few days have passed since she died and I find myself talking about her death with a smile on my face. How can I do that? To answer that I have to back up a couple of months.
When we learned that there was a probability of her having pancreatic cancer, it was mid-December. The primary piece of evidence for this diagnosis was a blood test. Normal readings on her pancreas should have been 13; hers were 1100, but, from what I understand, the Doctor could not decisively say he was dealing with pancreatic cancer because he did not have a biopsy (The Dr. also felt it was foolish to put mom through a biopsy surgery, at this point.) I have known people who obtained a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and died painful deaths within months. Some will doubt this, but I heard the Holy Spirit say, “she only has two months to live.” I knew that this information, with no definitive evidence, would not be received well, and it was not. I told the family member who shared the vague information from the doctor with me, no good will come of this. I did not say this to be negative, I listen to the Holy Spirit, and that is what I heard. Oh, there is always the possibility of some good, as I serve a God who is never without a plan. At 82, mom had few realistic options, especially since the last surgery she had, a hip surgery, was very hard on her and she fought, prematurely, to leave the hospital. I told you all that to say; I feel the Lord was preparing some of us, for her departure.
Another reason I can smile is that I know where she went. She went home to be with Jesus. I have looked into this phrase before, and spoken about it in my blog; however, I will admit that the scripture reference is just a little thin.
We say: “To be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord.”
But here is what Paul said,
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 NASB (6) Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— (7) for we walk by faith, not by sight– (8) we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
Let’s logically attack this for a moment.
- knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.”
If being at home in my body, makes me absent from the Lord, then the inverse must be true. Therefore, if I am absent from my body, then I must be present with the Lord.
Of course, I left out a minor detail, as this is all contingent upon a relationship with Jesus Christ. A simple explanation goes like this – when Jesus was asked what must a person do to be saved, Jesus responded with, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the one sent by the Father. Well, that is what my mother did, as mom had a long term relationship with Jesus Christ and longed to be with Him. I too have this kind of relationship with Jesus. The Apostle Paul went on to say that the preferred condition would be, “to be absent from the body and be home with the Lord.”
So, I had time to say my goodbyes, and to tell her that she could go home if she wanted to; and, I have the knowledge that she is at peace, rejoicing in heaven with Jesus, just as she longed to do.
Is there emotional pains, certainly, and some are much more trouble than others; and, there was an abundance of family drama. One of the ways I have learned to deal with the drama is a simple phrase, it is not my circus, and they are not my monkeys. While that works to some degree, it is often difficult to keep the monkeys from throwing their food and debris at you, and that makes life difficult at times.
A friend of mine insists that we, as the church, are destined to go through the seven years of God’s wrath. I have tried, in several ways, through scripture, to show him how wrong he is. On my last chance to spend time with my mother, I was lying near her, holding her hand, and watching Charles Stanley on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the night before she died. On this night my friend sent me a message explaining how he had challenged some Christians about their belief in a pre-tribulation rapture. Sadly, we, as the church, seem to think that we get to escape ALL tribulation and discomfort. My response to this belief that we get to escape discomfort is, we are fortunate to have been born in the United States. How do you, who think discomfort means you are not a believer, explain the horrendous torment followers of Christ in the Middle East, African nations, and China, for example, go through? When did I respond to his message I told him that I was lying next to my mom, who was dying of pancreatic cancer and did he not think that this was a fiery trial? It was and continues to be for some.
Jesus told us, that in this world we would have tribulations. Welcome to the world, and welcome to this life we have in Christ. It is real, and there nothing you can do to avoid the discomforts of the world.