Sunday, 10 May 2009

LOVE IS ETERNAL

The promise of a rendezvous at an appointed time and place invokes excitement in two lovers. The excitement is heightened when there is the strong faith that the appointment will surely be honoured and there will be a rewarding fellowship in each other's company.
When there is no such appointment to look forward to, life becomes empty and dull.
Grief , shock and anger are emotions we feel when we mourn the death of a loved one .We react differently to grief depending on different factors connected with the bereavement. Grief could result in prolonged sorrow and there is madness and selfishness in a time of pain and sorrow.
Madness is non compos mentis i.e. a departure from the normal state;a deranged and demented crazy outpouring of the mind.
The madness in selfishness is expressed by shutting out everyone and everything and focusing on SELF.
Self pity and selfish thoughts which makes us forget the needs of others and the needs of God for our trust and our fellowship.
A time of grief is one of such times when people question the goodness and mercy of God. It is that time when most people fail to keep their rendezvous;the daily appointment of prayer time with the eternal Lover.
This breakdown in communication with God ,if allowed to become prolonged, it becomes a potent weapon and a massive crack in the wall for the enemy to move in for the kill.

When my beloved younger sister , Beatrice died on the 2nd of May,2006, her death hit us like a thunderbolt. She had battled with complications resulting from breast cancer for years. Despite the fact that she had the best medical care which money could buy , that she was very much loved and cared for by us, we lost her to the dreadful big C!
Beatrice , our family , friends and all who knew her,prayed , fasted and believed God for her healing . Many prominent men and women of God prayed and fasted with our family . Hands were laid on her and she was anointed with oil, on different occasions by many ministers of God.
In fact,till her last breath, she and all of us never doubted ,even for one minute, that our God could give her a new body and heal her completely.
But the Sovereign God , in his infinite mercy and wisdom took her home.
His decision caused us a lot of pain and anguish .
Did we mask our grief and bottle it all up by breaking into thanksgiving prayers and into wild praises and dancing unto God,as we were expected to do in times like this? We should have expressed our trust in God by speaking Christianese?
Yes, we did accept the will of God because we knew God had the final say in life and in death. But our acceptance did not lessen our pain.
We did not and could not mask our pain and grief during those first days of our loss,given the circumstances of her death.
When she died, there was indescribable grief and anger. Anger because of the pain and suffering she went through, for years; anger at the waste of a promising and very beautiful woman who had everything to live for!
People , including I, screamed out terrible questions to God.
We were inconsolable and perplexed.
Personally , I took it badly. For weeks, I shut down everything.
When you have a time set aside for God each day , the Holy Spirit will surely come to keep the appointment with you in prayer.
When you have faithfully kept that appointment, for years , even if your set time is 2a.m., the hour of deep , sweet slumber for all humans; you will find yourself waking up , without an alarm clock at 2 a.m, give or take a few minutes!
Awaked, refreshed and strenghtened to pray and to intercede, by the power of the Holy Spirit!
During my period of grief, I couldn't respond to promptings of the Holy Spirit whenever he came calling, seeking for our usual daily rendezvous.
I would wake up, listen to him speaking to my mind and to my spirit, urging me to get up and pray, but I would refuse to respond.
Sometimes, when he persisted in his "wakey-wakey" nudges,I told him I didn't want to hear anything , didn't want to pray; I wanted to be left alone, to sleep.
There were times when I would pour out my anger and pain to him, for taking away my sister; seeking answers; demanding explanations for his actions!
That was me , going mad with grief and heartbreak .
There was pain and there was a vacuum in my heart .
The vacuum of the absence of fellowship with Someone, the Comforter, in whose presence I had found immense love and comfort all through my life till then .
Isn't it ironic that in times of need, of pain and of sorrow, we look elsewhere or even nowhere, for comfort and reassurance instead of looking at the very Source of joy and comfort?
Thank God that he did not give up on me throughout my mourning period when I refused to speak with him. Thank God for his love and patience and for restoring me.
I have a relaxed relationship with God because to me , he is Father , Lover and Friend. I take him up on many issues which I find puzzling in the world around me. His basic answer to my questions is that I should relax and trust him.
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him . Isaiah 59:19
I thank him for the support and love of valuable friends and mentors through whom he sent his word and his comfort in diverse ways .
You know your true friends indeed during the time of grief and helplessness.

Last week,it was three years since she went home. The pain of her absence is still fresh. We miss her dearly.There is so much to remind us of her beautiful and gentle life.
After a period of mourning for her, our healing process as individuals and as a family entailed our affirming that our God is a good God who is rich in mercy and wisdom.
Personally, for my healing and restoration, I had a lot of "pulling down and raising up" to do and I have done them.
We acknowledge the truth that our God is unchangeable.
God is love and he does everything with love and love only.
In life and in death, in our times of sorrow , joy, victory or defeat, the God who is LOVE is unchanging. God's love remains constant and eternal.
We may not understand his ways and his thoughts but our ignorance is made perfect in his love.
It is alright to grieve but prolonged grief gives room to the enemy to come in to steal, to kill and to destroy lives and ministries .
Most of all, we love Beatrice deeply, as a sister and daughter but God loves her even more as his daughter.
So which is greater; our love or her Father's eternal love for her?

Since my sister's home-going, I have experienced the pain of the departure of four of my acquantances here in England ; three women and a man due to death by cancer.The oldest of the four was aged 42 years and all four were practising believers .Right now, two other friends have been told they are in the final weeks of their battle with breast cancer.
We are here on this planet for a very brief stay and we are here for a purpose.
Fulfilling that purpose in the our life time should be our goal. Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.

To all who have or are experiencing the anguish of watching a loved one being ravaged by this dreadful disease called cancer or any other terminal disease and have experienced the pain of their succumbing to death, no words from any man can be adequate to console you.
Maybe yours is not a terminal disease and pain of bereavement. Maybe you are experiencing the trauma of a failed marriage ,failed engagement , loss of job, loss of home and you have lost all hope and faith.
Don't bottle it up .Remember , it is O.K., its cool to scream and wail;
to weep and mourn because the God whose embodiment is LOVE ,Jesus, wept at the graveside of his friend, Lazarus before he declared his lordship over death and raised Lazarus from the dead. John 11:35.
Be angry but sin not...Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26,27.
The devil and sin come in when we allow our mourning to become a weapon of the enemy against us.
Every mourning period will pass away, the pain could remain despite the passage of time. But even this pain, too, will pass.
Nothing on this plane of existence is eternal , except the love of God.
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