If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
This verse has been stuck on my mind for over a month now. Initially it started with extremely missing my dad. Then realizing that none of us are here for good. We are all just here for a while. That’s why man is compared to the grass of the field that today is and tomorrow withers and dies and to a vapour that suddenly vanishes. It’s such a humbling thought. However, despite knowing all these things, so many people live as if they’re going to be here forever. They fight, war and compete for things that will eventually perish forsaking the greater virtues of life, love, sacrifice and forbearance.
Nothing in this world is ours, the people we love, the land we claim our own, not even our own breath. A very humbling thought. In this life, at the end, all we inherit for our lifeless body is a grave. But we have hope on the other side of this life through Christ. Those who see this bigger picture cannot conform to the ways of this world or be in a competition. We have a different destination, we are looking forward to spending eternity with Christ and hence only those things pertaining to eternity really matter. The world and its things perish.
Our perspective is what changes how we look at and live this life. We are here, not without hope, without help or without expectation. Therefore, with eternity in focus, the matters of the present world shift out of focus. We may lose everything in this life, but we know we can only gain in the next. So we strive without giving up or giving in.
My advice to humans is chase eternal things. Don’t waste time fretting over the perishable. No matter how solid it seems, one day its story will end. It could be an education, a friend, a companion, an asset or riches. When we are on our death bed and after we leave, nothing will be more cherished than our memories and good deeds. But rest assured we will leave and take nothing with us. As we come so we leave, with nothing to call our own. May we always bear this truth in our minds as we journey through this life. It will keep us humble and grounded and heaven-bound.
Homeschooling is not for the faint hearted. There are a million days I’ve wanted to give up and I still wish I could.
So I called my 4.5 year old to sit and practice some letter writing. I told her to write from A to Z. 10 minutes later she comes back to me and says here mom, I’ve written what you told me to write. To my dismay, I find written in her book A2Z. Everyone found this incident rather hilarious except for me. She did get thrashed because she let out a sly smile when she handed over the notebook. Clearly I wasn’t amused. I’m still not sure if she did it on purpose or she really didn’t get what I was asking her to write. My 2nd child is still a mystery to me and handling her is one skill I wonder if I will ever master! So we have started the letters from scratch, all over again for the nth time. Wish me luck!
Death of a loved one is something one can never heal from, which is what I have learnt over the last 1 year. When the most painful phase of burying my dad got over, I just wanted to run away from the home where he spent the last few days of his life. I could never live there without his presence or the memories of his suffering. As soon as I came back to my own home, I felt relieved. At least I wasn’t tormented with his memories constantly, or so I thought! It’s been over a year. I’ve not been back to his home, however, his memories come back more consistently than ever before. I’ve cried more now than I’ve cried before. There are a few regrets, a regret that I didn’t talk to him more in his last few moments and that I didn’t attend to him. His pain was unbearable for me to watch even from a distance. But now I regret having distanced myself. I think the biggest service one can do a dying soul is to stay beside them, talk to them, attend to them. Lesson learnt the hard way. It also took his death to realize that beyond all the bickering and arguments we still loved each other very deeply. He always had good intentions towards me, towards everyone really. The pain of dwelling upon all these thoughts were so excruciating. I keep wishing I could get a second chance with my dad. But I know that having my mother and her family around, I would never get the kind of scenario I dream of. So in a way I’m glad it’s over. He was relieved from his earthly misery. But I still miss him, the kids miss him, we can’t ever get over him being absent from us.
It all feels unfair, this life, this earth, born into families, taught to love, spending years growing closer, building relationships and then suddenly being ripped apart from the very people we love. After losing my dad, I’ve started to view life as a mere curse on the human soul. Most people suffer day in and day out, we accomplish nothing in this life but the love we gain, only to leave it all behind. I wonder how my dad felt, when he knew he was leaving us behind. He kept telling others about my kids, he felt sorry for them. The agony of leaving behind loved ones, I cannot ever bear to think of that kind of feeling. He was conscious till his last breath, the worst part of it all, he knew exactly what was going on and who was around.
Sometimes all this makes me angry on God, makes me ask Him, why did you create humans to suffer pain, physically, mentally and emotionally?? But that’s when I realize, He intended to create a perfect world and man ruined it by his disobedience. He still didn’t leave us destitute, He sent His son Jesus Christ so that the fallen human race has yet another chance to live the life he intended. Not in this life, but in the next. One final chance to live the dream life, with the people we love. This is the only consoling factor that has kept me going. I will see my dad again in a better life and place. For now he is resting, with our loved ones who left before him. The heart yearns for the years to roll. This life is just a meaningless vapour. Everything comes to an end some day.
It’s so easy to get angry at God when we think of life, however we never realize the silent ways in which He has blessed us. My dad was sentenced to die at the age of 64 by the doctors. They literally asked us never to bring him back if we refused to do the bypass surgery for his heart. Yet, God graciously gave him 10 more years. I remember calling up my cousin from the hospital when they said he would die in a few months without the surgery. I remember asking her, what I would do if my dad died as the doctors say, I am in a new country, don’t have a job, no sibling support, not yet married, no way to survive in life if he leaves. That was in November of 2009. But God was good, he gave my father 10 years without the surgery. He lived an active life till the 13th of December 2019. And in those 10 years he watched me work, earn, live my life, get married to a nice person, settle down and have kids. He even got a good 6 months bonus with his grandkids just before he fell sick. He died knowing I was taken care of, a much needed assurance for someone who is dying. Thank you Jesus for the blessing of an extra 10 years.
This earth and all that is in it will vanish. All things will come to an end at some point. But those who are in Christ, whether dead or alive, have the hope of spending eternity with Him and our loved ones who have died in Him. What a beautiful world and life that will be, with no more pain, no more tears and no more sorrows, only the happiness of praising our God who is worthy of all praise and glory. I can’t wait to see you again daddy. I know that now you are resting in a beautiful place with our Saviour and you will be waiting for us just as eagerly as we are waiting to see your face again and embrace you. Miss you daddy, love you so much!!