Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people. - Genesis 25:8
This passage reminds me of my grandmother. Most of my friends know that she passed away this past Sunday and that I’ve gone down to Arkansas to be with my family during this important time. I have mixed feelings as I think about her passing. Many have said to me, when they’ve heard the news, “I’m sorry.” But I can’t help thinking that I’m not.
Of course I will miss her. It makes me sad to think about the loss of fellowship many feel right now – especially my dad who was the youngest of her five children. I’ll miss seeing her at holidays and pretending to fight with my brother over which one of us she really made that special buttermilk pie for (everyone knows it was for me! :) )
And yet Eva Lee died at the ripe old age of 99, an old woman and satisfied with life. She lived through ten of the most amazing decades in world history. They were farmers and not at all wealthy, so it was never easy. But through hard work and -- I'm sure many prayers -- they always seemed to have enough. She never learned to drive and has lived on her own for the past 30 years following the death of my grandfather in 1976. She is remembered affectionately by 20 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren and 3 great, great grand-children. She was in the hospital two, maybe three times at most, (but never for anything serious), enjoying almost amazing health until just a little over a month ago. She was even awarded a certificate in 1998 acknowledging her as the "Oldest Eldercare Volunteer in the State of Arkansas". She once said she enjoyed going down to the center to "help those old people" -- most of whom were younger than her, I think. She lived a full life!
But most importantly, she knew (and knows) that life that is life indeed! A long-standing member of the Assemblies of God, my grandmother knows (presently!) the Lord and by grace through faith has been permitted to enter into the joy He has reserved for those who trust in Him!
So I feel the loss, but I’m not sorry. My grandmother has known the simply joys of a common life. Unremembered by history, she is treasured by her family, and held in the ever-lasting arms of God’s unfailing love. What could be better?
In His Mercy!
Pastor Scott Lee