Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (NIV)
A tear trickled down her wrinkled cheek, and she brushed it aside with the corner of her lace-trimmed hankie. My 83-year-old grandmother was visiting me for the first time since my first child was born. Later, as she held my child in her arms, I was to learn that the tear symbolized joy and pain.
Gram's parents were poor, and in order for her to have food and shelter, she went to work, caring for children and cleaning for a neighbour's family when she was only ten. Before she was fifteen, she was married. By the time she was twenty, three of her four children — sons — had died. Shortly after this, her home was blessed with the arrival of a baby girl. "She brought healing to our home, joy," Gram explained. "Your grandfather adored her. He'd come home from fishing and look for her, rock her, carry her around on his shoulders. Our home had laughter again." Then Gram told me of how my baby daughter reminded her of Louise. Another tear came when she recalled how her baby — then a toddler — had been helping her bake and, in the process, had pulled over a bag of powdered spice which went into her lungs. She died in her father's arms later that night. However, Gram smiled with joy as she told me how her faith had comforted her during these difficult times; how God had blessed her home with four more children, later several grandchildren, and now a great grandchild. "God was with me here, and someday soon, I'll see them all: Vernon, Vasper, Glendon, and Louise."
Today, do we have a faith that is strong enough to take us through the "hard times"? The God that my grandmother was talking about doesn't change. God was there for her yesterday; God is there for us today, and will be there in our future.
Prayer: God, sometimes, like Job, we don't understand why dear ones die and we are left to grieve. Help us to find comfort in Your Word, Your promises, and Your love. Amen.