It is Sept. 22, 2023. One year ago today my Elaine slipped into the glorious and pain-free presence of Jesus. In spite of his personal loss, how could a rational man argue with God about that?
The lingering fragrance of the memories of our nearly 63 wonderful years together makes it seem like a short time. Like she was here just yesterday. But the many lonely days since then, especially evenings and when traveling, make it seem long.
It has been a year of previously unimaginable depths of sorrow and heights of joy for me. Such a mixture could only represent the infusion of the Presence of a sovereign and loving God into the realities of humanity in a fallen world.
He knew of such sorrows before He created the world, and He prepared a way for His children to navigate them. A way to the place of freedom and joy “in spite of – -.” A place upon whose door hangs the sign, “Come unto Me.”
ELAINE, AND JESUS
Early on, Elaine had found a special place of security in Jesus, and God heard my sobbing as I perused her decades of journals and realized how her uncomplicated faith had brought stability into her life. And ours. Stability in spite of the complexities of living with me and walking together in the sometimes daring and unconventional ways that God called us to follow Him. And He spoke clearly that HE was now my stability.
And as I longingly held Elaine’s photo and was so drawn to her beauty of face and soul, He told me that it was not her who had so blessed me. It was He Himself who had blessed me through her. It was His Presence in her, as a gift to me – and He was still with me even if she was not. He spoke deep emotional release into me when I set my eyes more directly on Him as my source.
He saw my struggles with loneliness in general, but also my longing for a partner in carrying out the work that yet remains for me to do. He told me that He knows, and that if I need a partner He will bring her and I will know her and will delight in her. I rest in that – most of the time.
For 50 years I have been inspired by the truth of the costly but rewarding transformation of II Cor. 3:18. It has shaped my personal life and everything I have done in the Name of Jesus ever since, and profoundly so in the past year.
I wish that Elaine could benefit from the further refining that God has worked in me as He met me in my sorrow from her passing, but I am comforted in knowing that nothing could make her happier than she is right now in Jesus’ Presence, and I celebrate that incredible truth!
The transformation process will continue as long as I live – whether that be a long time or a short time. May it be so, for God’s glory. I am weak but He is strong!
Kidron, OH USA
Sept. 22, 2023
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