Eight days ago, my dad left his family and passed on. Behind, we are left with the pain and memories then are left to go on with our lives in one way or another. It took me a while to gather my thoughts, and I’ve talked to a few friends along the way, remembering him. I have had spats of great energy and have found myself getting unusually tired some 2-3 hours before my usual bedtime.
Here are my thoughts:
John 12:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
My thought comes from the passage above, as well as on the life of Keith Green from a passage in the book, No Compromise, co written by his wife, Melody https://goo.gl/iQXBS7
This passage is a portion of Scripture where Christ explains his death to his disciples and what would become the resulting fallout of him dying and his ascension back to the right hand of the Father, which would empower His disciples to speak in power on His behalf.
Now that my dad has passed from this life to the next, it has struck me again to this passage of scripture, especially reflecting on my own battle with depression. Little did I know that Julie and I would both go through that journey one after the next and came at times near the end of ourselves. Others in my family have survived the fight as well, and we stand together as one heart and mind this week. A series of events led my Dad down the path again, and I was grateful to come alongside him with many others to help him on his journey out. Nevertheless, he was overcome and has left behind deep wound for many of us.
Rest assured that this pain will not last, though it may take years for some of us to heal from this great loss to our family. Roughly 7 months ago, I felt much of my personal pain and felt a measure of peace at what I knew was a possibility that only could be avoided by my Dad himself. One blessing is that now I can genuinely come alongside many others in their grief and loss, and help with the healing process of not just losing a loved one, but to help others from perhaps meeting the same end. Our tears are not in vain, and in fact they will help us fight the battle against depression all the more. I know family and friends who are current or ex military who know of those who have fought PTSD. Quite frankly, this may have been what he dealt with, but on a lesser scale than what many soldiers would face from the trauma of war.
Psalm 56:8 tells us that God keeps our tears in a bottle or has record of each of them on a scroll. I picture them being poured out on the earth, along with the incense of the prayers of His people (Rev 8:3-5) to reach out and snatch countless who suffer with this illness into His kingdom of peace and victory. We live in a daily battle and the fight is intense, yet we know who’s side wins in the end! While my family grieves the death of my Dad, I know for sure His life was not in vain. My friends and others can account for the life He lived in service to the Lord. He was often a quiet man and kept to himself, living a simple life, but he strengthened me and others many times with the verses and faith he held close over the years.
When one fights depression, many of life’s passions leave, including hope and seeing the options to escape eludes them, as they struggle in a very dark and small circle. Even when others have great joy and happiness, they are imprisoned and immune, and are even overcome with more pain and sadness, feeling a sense of guilt or regret for not sharing that same joy as those around them. This can cause the person to withdraw themselves from public. Those choices to avoid depression are obvious to those from without, but are not evident to the one who suffers 🙁 Isolation sets in along with panic and fear, many symptoms of which are internalized, like a perpetuating prison. Outwardly one may seem normal on the surface, but their voice becomes stifled along with cries for help. Eventually for some, that will to struggle ends, and others find the road to escape.
In closing, I know not everyone believes in God or His Son Jesus sent for the purpose to make a people of His own from the Earth. Before time began, he set aside the number who would be saved from His creation (Rev. 3:5; Eph. 1: 5-6). Since we know not who the Lord has chosen, He commands all men everywhere to repent and trust in Him (Acts 17:30). However, the heart of God is that none would perish apart from Him (2 Pet. 3:9) but he knows that not all will turn, be changed and see Him with clarity, that they might flee the penalty of sin and separation from His presence. That penalty was meant for the Devil and the Angels who rebelled with Him in ancient past, and then was also reserved for those the Lord could not bear to stand in his likeness due to their sin.
As you think on the life of my Dad, please do an assessment of your own; and think on what’s most important to you. Think not on your past, but on today and how you can affect tomorrow. Cling to those you love most and live for them in fullness. If you don’t know the Lord as King and saviour, examine yourself closely in light of the Father’s perfection, as we are not guaranteed one day from the next on this Earth.
John 14: 1-7 ~ I go and prepare a place. I am the way truth and the life, no one comes except through Me.
Psa. 90 ~ Our years are spent in toil….and go by like a vapor, ….so teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psa. 90)
Our God is good, as he comes to defend the fatherless and the widow (James 1:27; Psa. 68:5)2016-11-02
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