Two things have been happening all around me in recent days. The funerals of my friends’ loved ones and practicing for our church choir’s annual Christmas presentation.
My friend Betty Dean lost her husband. She was by his side for over 50 years of marriage and watched him battle cancer for 14 years. She and her daughter have some huge adjustments ahead and now have a big hole in their lives where Julian used to be.
My friend Jan lost her mother. Mrs. Britt was a saint at my church and lived a very active full life until receiving a diagnosis of end stage colon cancer. She was 89. Jan and her sister faithfully took care of her during much of this past year.
Seven-year-old Kayleigh McClendon died of a brain tumor the week before Thanksgiving. Thousands of people followed her mother’s posts on Facebook chronicling Kayleigh’s 6 1/2 month long journey through the valley of death and into the presence of Jesus.
Debbie, the wife of my cousin, was stunned by the news that her 18-year-old nephew had died in an automobile accident on Thanksgiving night.
My friend Susie buried her mother Joy yesterday. She suffered a stroke and was gone a few days later. Joy was an icon in Hartselle, AL and a much-beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
Facebook friend and former fellow church member Gayle died this week after having a sudden stroke. She was buried yesterday.
The very good news is that all of the ones I’ve mentioned were saved. They were followers of Christ who are now in heaven. Their grieving family members can take great comfort in the fact that they are no longer suffering. They are now in a place of unending joy, praise and worship, where there is no pain.
A song that has become a traditional part of our Christmas presentation is called “All Is Well.” Here are the lyrics:
All is well, all is well. Angels and men rejoice, rejoice! For tonight darkness fell into the dawn of love’s light. Sing alle, sing alleluia!
All is well, all is well. Let there be peace on earth. Christ is come, go and tell that He is in the manger. Sing alle, sing alleluia!
All is well, all is well. Lift up your voice and sing. Born is now Emmanuel. Born is our Lord and Savior. Sing alleluia. Sing alleluia. All is well.
Born is now Emmanuel. Born is our Lord and Savior. Sing alleluia! Sing alleluia! All is well! All is well! All is well! (Words and Music by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Michael W. Smith)
There is deep, almost unspeakable sadness when a loved one dies. We miss them terribly and long for a chance to have one more hug, one more conversation, one more smile. But, it is so very important to remember that if that loved one is a Child of God, they are okay now. All, indeed, is well. And, hopefully, that can be our comfort, too.
Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.”