Saturday, my grandmother (my Daddy's mom) passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer's. It's an ugly disease. It took from her all semblance of a normal life and even her recognition of her beautiful son. We were with her Saturday around 12:45 when she took her last breath on this side of eternity and took her first, meeting Jesus. It was an INCREDIBLE experience for me to take in. I've dealt with death a lot in my life, unfortunately. I know that I will get to see those who are saved by God's grace one day, because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. So, it wasn't a sad occasion for her. Only for us. Only for my dad. And, as any Daddy's girl knows, there's NOTHING worse than seeing your daddy cry. Then, Sunday, we pried ourselves out of bed, though we were drained from the events of the previous day and had a wonderful morning at church. I was overcome when our church sang "Holy Holy Holy" because I knew that as I was singing (or rather, listening, because I was truly overcome) that in my church, in the spiritual presence of our Lord, my grandmother was singing in the PHYSICAL presence of our Lord. She's there. She sees Him. She can touch Him. It was too much for me to understand and comprehend beyond being thankful and in Awe.
THAT was followed by a beautiful special by some wonderful ladies in our church. The song was entitled "Can I pray for you?" and was a wonderful testimony that there is NOTHING more beautiful than friends praying on one another's behalf and mentioning each other's name before the Lord. There is nothing more powerful. So, when someone says they're praying for you, believe that they are paying you the highest form of respect, because they are specifically going to the Lord on YOUR behalf. It's powerful, humbling, awe inspiring stuff.
Tonight we had visitation for my grandmother and, I must say, she looked beautiful. Only, it's not really her. I know that this old, frail body of this "soldier" is a terrible depiction of what she actually looks like now!! So, it was a sad, but peaceful occasion (as peaceful as things can be with MY family and friends involved...you know who you are and you know what you mean to us!) But, still, here I sit at 3:30 in the morning, wide awake. Thomas hasn't slept well, Malachi woke up, not crying, just not sleeping, and I had to rock him to sleep. And, as I rocked him back to sleep, I felt this incredibly unsettled feeling. I don't know why, I just did.
My friend Lindsey at todayindietzville.blogspot.com recently wrote about just such a feeling and how the Lord laid a specific Bible passage in her heart in the early morning hours. And, when she hastened to read that passage, her heart was soothed because she could almost feel the Lord talking to her. So, as a rocked my sweet boy, I prayed that the Lord would just point out to me where He wanted me to read. And, as I prayed, MY mind sifted through several passages that I enjoy reading. But, for some reason 2nd Corinthians stuck out. No particular verse or passage, just 2nd Corinthians. Now, I questioned it thinking, Lord, really? 2nd Corinthians? That's just a letter to a church. Is this really YOU speaking to me, or is my mind doing this?
Still, I finished rocking my baby, and came in to check Facebook before reading 2nd Corinthians. I wasn't sure that it was what the Lord wanted me to do. I posted this "
Jamie Allen is tired, but NO ONE in my house is sleeping well tonight. Off to read my Bible in hopes that this unsettled feeling will disappear in God's word and that His presence will calm not just me, but my entire household tonight!!
Then, I went to read. I opened my Bible and found 2nd Corinthians. Here is what my Bible says before Chapter 1, Verse 1. "The God of All Comfort." CHILLS. Now, I'm going to type the first 11 verses because they SO spoke to me. I encourage you to read them if you're going through a hard time right now. Wow... (all emphasis has been added because this is was stuck out to me)
1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
2. Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the GOD OF ALL COMFORT.
4. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6. And, whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation ans salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
8. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
9. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10. Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
11. Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
You see, Paul was telling the church at Corinth that their prayers were powerful. And, as he and Timothy suffered and feared for their lives, so the church went through the same emotions. And, as he and Timothy were delivered from their fearful situation, so the church was delivered. The church walked with Paul and Timothy in their time of tribulation and sorrow and fear and rejoiced with them and thanked the Lord on THEIR BEHALF when they were delivered. It's so powerful. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but there is NOTHING more exciting, just like Lindsey said, than when the Lord almost audibly speaks to you. I pray that if any of you ever has a need for prayer, that you will come to me so that I may lift you up to the Father and put YOUR NAME before Him. And, I thank you if you've prayed us through the last couple months of difficulty in our lives. I didn't understand until Sunday just how incredible the words, "Can I pray for you?" really are! I will never ever take for granted prayer requests again.
Thank you God for Sunday's message in song. Thank you for my grandmother's life and testimony. Thank you for a church family and wonderful friends, both close to me and those whom I've only "met" in the figurative sense. Thank you for putting THIS passage on my heart and making it clear to me that you ARE the God of Comfort.