Life Happens. But God is Still There.
September 7, 2022
The school year has started, and I don’t know about you, but for me, it always turns into a stressful time of year. Life happens. We get busy with our assignments, college applications for us seniors, family members get sick, life happens.
The Peer Ministry Class went on a retreat August 12 and 13 at the Franciscan Center. The theme was John 15, abiding in Christ, pruning out things that took us away from Christ.
Inspired by the retreat, at the beginning of the school year I decided that to decrease my stress, I’d do one small restful thing a day. It started off great! I’d take a few minutes when I got home from school to sit on my bed and play Bible Roulette, flipping to a random page and praying with whatever was there. Or I’d find some other way to rest with God.
But then life happened. My uncle started seriously declining because of his lung cancer. We went to visit him every night for two weeks, which meant I barely got my homework done on time and stayed up too late to be able to do that, or so I convinced myself.
Uncle Francis kept telling us in those two weeks that he was going home. Home as in heaven. He was really suffering and happy to be able to go to eternity with God. It was harder for all of us, though. One important thing that a friend has taught me is that it is important to mourn. God isn’t asking us to not be upset because a loved one is going to heaven. Jesus wept when Lazarus died (John 11). But He brought him to new life. Mourning is normal, healthy, and the only way to deal with the hardship in life. But it is important for mourning to include God, abide in Him, and trust Him to carry us through these hard times. As that is the only way to eventually find peace.
So, I am going back to evening Bible Roulette, and being more intentional about finding good passages to read and meditate on according to my needs for the day. I’m working on abiding, and just being with God to let Him bring me greater peace now and later in the stress of the school year, eventually picking a college, and in living the rest of my life. We need to abide to thrive in any situation.
“But let all who take refuge in you be glad and exult forever. Protect them, that you may be the joy of those who love your name,” (Psalm 5:12).
Uncle Francis went home last night. He’s no longer suffering, and I believe that God did bring him home. I hope to have the faith that he did, that God would come for him.