If you’ve read my blog, “Blessings From Tragedy,” you know what kind of Christmas we had this year. As I’ve been here for my mother, I’ve been surprised by the priceless treasures that I got when I came to give. Helping others through their sorrow and trials carries both long and short-term rewards. How can we believe less of a God that would give his very own Son to suffer for us?
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”Romans 8:31-32
Limited by Zoom and calls, I watched my dad descend towards his death, but I also kept a very close eye on my mom. I wanted to make sure she was okay, to be there if she needed me, but I didn’t want to intrude. What an honor it was to have the opportunity to care for her! She cared for me so many times throughout my life that I could never pay her back. Being able to do something in return was a gift, a treasure. She was so sick, but so grateful, which blessed me all the more, but it didn’t stop there.
Carry one another’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].Galatians 6:2
Through walking through this, I gleaned a beautiful understanding of living God’s word and finding strength within difficulties by putting others’ needs first. Serving others is thankless and often feels void of purpose. My mom cared for my dad and loved him well all of their days together. As he began to experience cognitive decline, she was steady in her devotion, respect, and love. He thrived in her care and even kept his sense of humor in ways that blessed us all. I’ve overheard her heartfelt yearning in her prayers that the love of her life wouldn’t suffer. My sweet mom grieved this from her hospital bed as she battled for her life against covid.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.Psalm 30:5
Because of Covid, we were only with him on Zoom when he died. The moment she heard his step from this life to heaven, she let out a massive gasp, and I knew it was birthed from was deep in her soul. Her declaration through quivering but the confident voice was, “Thank God he’s done suffering. This is his promotion” You may find it strange that my sweet mother responded with such relief, but I saw so clearly the hidden blessings within Romans 12:15. She was so concerned with him that she could put her happiness and his relief for him over her own grief.
Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief.Romans 12:15
The Pure Heart Wins
When my dad passed, there was such a contrast. He had been fighting, but suddenly there was peace. We all felt it on that zoom call. The culmination of those prayers and the habit of putting him first yielded a sigh of relief from the depths of mom’s soul. Her unedited first words revealed the purity and selflessness of her daily prayers. She wanted what was best for him. She lived it. If she had been focussing on how miserable her situation was, feeding self-pity, her immediate response would have been sorrow for her loss and relief for herself.
When we follow God’s word and his plan of living our lives, even though it can be excruciating, we are blessed. Walking through the trials with others gives us the experience of walking through trials and perspective to use for our own. Life events aren’t tragic or shocking because we’ve experienced them with others. God designed it that way. Being there for others helps us. This is priceless. While my mom thanks me daily, I’m the one who received incalculable strength, perspective, and lessons while walking on her path of grace and love through the valley of the shadow of death.
It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,Matthew 20:26