Thursday, January 24, 2013

Some May Find It Strange

Since New Year’s Eve, I’m attended a funeral or calling hours for nine people with only one as my relative.  There’s a funeral tomorrow for a classmate of mine.  The prospect of death has always been very real to me helping me embrace the fact that one day I’m going to make the same transition.   Hebrews 9:27 says “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
I don’t know when I first wrote my own obituary.  I know it was years ago.  I’ve had to update it over time, most recently to add the name of my youngest grandchild who was born in October.   My immediate family is aware of this strange quirk of mine.  Or perhaps it’s not so strange considering my maternal grandmother wrote her obituary years before she passed, and my mom gave her obituary to me a few years ago!

As each day passes, I am one day closer to breathing my last breath on earth.  Yet, I’m not concerned about it because of a decision I made when I was a little girl.  I didn’t get to choose my skin color and gender, who my birth parents and siblings are, nor where I was born.  God chose these things for me.  Since He never makes a mistake, I fully accept and embrace who I am.  While I did make some decisions that brought consequences to my life, some that were very good and some filled with grief and disappointment, the biggest and best decision I made was choosing to give my life to and follow Jesus. 

I might be frightened about the prospect of my death if I was clueless about what will happen.  Jesus told me I don’t have to worry because He has gone ahead of me to prepare the way.    John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am , there ye may be also.  2 Corinthians 5 teaches me I'm going to receive a new body.  That sounds good to me because of the physical changes I'm experiencing as I age.  Until the day of my transition, I have the Holy Spirit helping me through whatever comes my way.  John 16:7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.   Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, my Advocate, to take up residence in my heart when I accepted Him in my childhood.  I’m so grateful that Jesus knew that I would need the Holy Spirit to teach, encourage, protect, and intercede for me.  With the Holy Spirit, I can handle this life until my transition comes.  As one of my now deceased friend used to say “I can’t lose.  While down here, Jesus is with me.  When I die, I get to go be with Him.”  Nope, I’m not concerned about dying.  It’s a win-win proposition and not strange at all!

He Knows Me Best

When I was born, I entered the world as the daughter of my parents and granddaughter of my grandparents.  I had a brother, making me a sister.  My parents had siblings making me a niece.  Their siblings had children making me a cousin.  On the day I was born, I was surrounded with people who automatically loved me, some of whom I became close with over the years. 

I eventually became a mother, a wife, stepmother, an aunt, and an in-law with a heap of relatives through my marriage and the marriages of my siblings and children. I have the wonderful title of being a grandmother!  The family circle of people who know me has grown by leaps and bounds. 

As much as I am known by all of these people to whatever degree, none know me like the One who created me.  When I was born, I entered the world as a female Negro, a black person, an African-American, not by choice but by design by the Most High God, the all-knowing Father, Creator God.   There was a choice I made as an adolescent – to follow the One who created me.  Living by the choice I made to the One who created me supersedes EVERYTHING in my life.

Psalm 139:13, 15-16 tells me that God “created my inmost being…“knit me together in my mother’s womb,” God’s “eyes saw my unformed body”, I was made in secret in my mother’s womb, and  all the days ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be.   

As a mom, I think I know my children fairly well.  But because they live in different cities from me, I’m clueless as to what’s going on in their lives unless we communicate via phone, e-mail or Facebook.    

How well does God know me?  He has searched me and knows me.  He knows when I sit (who besides God knows that I’m sitting in my family room as I write this), when I rise (often my husband is not aware that I’ve left the bedroom), when I go out and come in.  God knows my thoughts before I become aware of them.  (Psalm 139:1-3).  He doesn’t have to call or e-mail me to find out what’s going on with me.  He knows more about me than I could ever put on Facebook!

God is familiar with ALL my ways.  The Message Bible says God knows “everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.  I can’t reach His knowledge – it is too high for me.  I cannot get away from Him.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:6-12)  Oh, how wonderful it is to be known by my God!  He knows me best!