James 4:14, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a
mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” I once heard a pastor talk about the legacy that we leave: how we have a day we are born, a day that we die, but what really matters is the dash that separates those two events. (Maybe this made such an impression on me because I often see a dash when I write my name – thanks for the hyphen mom!). As Christians, we have the added advantage of living a purpose-filled life with eternity in mind, which makes us more conscious of just how fleeting this life really is. Quick side note: Sometimes we get off course in our journey, remember that we can alter our course at any time, we can look at the direction we are heading in and readjust. I’ve never liked the saying that talks about making a bed in which you have to lie in – who said you can’t remake the bed? That’s silly talk - talk that forgets about the goodness, grace, mercy, forgiveness, righteousness, holiness, and love of our God! Lamentations 3:21-23, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
On Monday, July 24, I got a call from my parents. The kind that makes your heart stutter. I heard my mom’s voice say that my dad’s mom, my grandma, had taken her heavenly flight. What had started out as a normal Monday, quickly changed into a harsh new reality of continuing life without a precious member of our family. This last week, everyone’s plans changed, the family has gathered from all over, and we have spent countless hours talking about our grandma. Her name was Brenda Joy, but to us grandkids she was, “Grandma Couch.” My grandma Couch was larger than life. She was a tall, strong, beautiful woman. Statuesque. I’m pretty sure when people think of a biker grandma, they don’t even know it, but they actually picture my grandma. My grandma didn’t put on airs or ever pretend to be someone she wasn’t. She was genuine.
Grandma taught us all how to play bingo and cards, she loved motorcycles and the Cowboys (but really just Troy Aikman), she was willing to drive for HOURS and HOURS to save 10 cents on a carton of cigarettes, her laugh was like none other (goodness she had a contagious laugh), she always got us girls toe-socks for Christmas (and no, they weren’t fashionable or cool ever, but we sure thought they were), she filled each stocking with a GIANT orange at the bottom, she called everyone “babe,” one year for Christmas she worked at a laundromat and handed out all the clothes that had been left there like an auctioneer (we laughed so hard we cried), whenever each of her grandkids reached their teenaged years she bought them a leather jacket (mine was a brown suede leather jacket that had fur around the collar and wrists – I rocked that sucker), she had horrible taste in pizza and worse taste in men, but she lived her life fully. She loved her friends and was a bit of a wild child – and o how we adored her for it. She collected animals – the ugliest, orneriest, meanest, most unlovable ones and she treated them like kings and queens. My grandma invented the side eye. Man was that side eye wicked. She could carry on an entire conversation with her face and never even open her mouth. She loved NCIS (LA was her favorite – of course), her favorite color was purple, she loved unsweetened tea with lots of ice, grilled chicken salad, sandwiches, QVC, and a little later in life she fell in love with Jesus – and of course our biker grandma joined a charismatic church!
Goodness, we are gonna miss her. She was irreplaceable. The thing I love most about my
grandma though? She gave me my dad.
We weep now, but with the promise that Joy is coming. And with that promise comes the same excitement of getting told we were going to grandma’s house. Psalm 30:5b, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
We love you, we miss you, until we meet again. – Your Couch Clan
Read: Revelation 21:4
Consider: Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter
under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die.” Death is an inevitable part of life. Like an elephant in a room, most of us are able to ignore it, until it makes itself known in our lives by stampeding straight at us, either by casting its shadow upon us or stepping on our toes with its fatal touch. Once you have been touched by death, you will never be the same again. However, this does not have to be a bad thing; there are many things that death can teach us such as to cherish every day, to learn to live in the moment, and to not waste time – among other things. While most of us look at death with finite eyes (hey, we are human after all), we know that God does not see death the same – instead He sees death with infinite eyes and does not sorrow in welcoming His children home. Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” There are so many unknowns or uncertainties about the death experience, but there are also some things that you can know with certainty throughout your whole life – most important being that Jesus will be with you every step of the way. Death is a stark reminder to those who remain to claim the promises of God and cling to them! For the believer, death is not a goodbye, it is a so long for now. I have the hope and assurance that I will see my loved ones in heaven one day – as do all who believe in the name of Jesus Christ! John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Eternity with my Lord and my God – what a promise to claim!
To-Do/Share: What promises do you claim from Scripture to help you and your loved ones deal with the issues of death and dying?