I was the last one to head for bed, and in the quiet of the night my mind returned to the wee hours of January 1st, 2009, the night that changed life as we knew it. As I stared at the ceiling, all the details came flooding back and it was a temptation to be consumed with sadness. But this year was different, because instead of focusing on the memory of the emergency, the Lord helped me to choose to remember the best parts of those life-changing hours.
I thought about Buck’s question to the Emergency Room doctor. I can still see the excitement on his face as he inquired if there was any chance that he was going to meet Jesus tonight! No fear, just excited anticipation! Of course, I didn’t share his enthusiasm, but I will never, ever forget the Peace I saw in my husband’s eyes as he listened for the doctor’s answer about the seriousness of his condition.
That powerful memory led me to recall the overwhelming Peace I experienced as I rode in the front of the ambulance on that fateful night. That was a gift from God, just for me. It was as if the Lord, Himself, was whispering to my heart: “ It’s okay, I’m here with you, and everything is going to be alright. I will bring good things from this”. Even though the ‘alright’ part delivered a very different outcome than we all anticipated, I can honestly say, the Lord was Faithful in carrying us through those four months of Buck’s traumatic illness and He did indeed, keep His promise in bringing so much good out of such an ugly situation. I can still remember what the Lord’s Presence felt like that night, and the warmth of that precious gift helped me to drift off to sleep easily, instead of facing the pain of my loss again.
Thank you, Lord, for helping me to welcome the New Year by recalling your Faithfulness. That Peace that transcends all understanding was mine once again, because of Who You are and the promises You make and keep to those who love you.
Philippians 4:7Contemporary English Version (CEV)
7 Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.
Philippians 4:7The Message (MSG)
6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
In light of writing this entry late last night, I was so awed how the Lord met with me this morning during my devotional reading. The scripture I was led to helped me to remember where Buck’s confidence came from in the early hours of that New Years Day.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 in The Living Bible version reads: Now we look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies, realizing that every moment we spend in these earthly bodies is time spent away from our eternal home in heaven with Jesus. We know these things are true by believing, not by seeing. And we are not afraid, but are quite content to die, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
Buck and I often talked about our “heaven-bound futures” throughout our years together. Buck always had a twinkle in his eyes whenever the subject came up. I got to see that ‘twinkle’ in it’s full radiance that night and I will always treasure that memory and the Peace and Comfort that it invokes in my heart. I anticipate good things this year. I hope you do too.