May 10, 2017
Turn and Look Around
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. – Psalm 62:8
My mother’s voice was steady as she spoke from the other end of the line in Kenya. I was making the call from Colorado, where my youngest sister had passed away the previous day. At the time of her passing, she was a twenty-year-old college student, studying half a world away from her parents and native culture. I was not looking forward to my mother’s greetings that night.
“Muli! How are you, my child?” my mother asked. I strained to respond, and she realized it. Choking on my tears, I struggled for words. As the oldest child, I had taken over the responsibility of my younger sister and brought her to America to pursue her studies. She had been doing well in school and had maintained almost a 4.0 grade average. What had happened to cause this terrible tragedy and how could our family possibly survive it?
Now I had to face one of the hardest parts of the ordeal—telling the news to my mom. She had lost three other children before they were of school age. She had suffered from uterine cancer, and her brother had died the same year. However, my Christian mother’s response surprised and enlightened me. She said the Lord gave, and the Lord had taken away. She said she could not stop or intervene when God was perfecting His will. Then she asked a question I had never thought or heard of: “What if this is the only time God had opened the doors of Heaven for your sister to enter into eternal rest?”
To forestall the obvious question, “Why a young woman at her prime age?” my mother said, “God is like a farmer. When He goes to the garden for a fruit, He picks the one that satisfies His needs. God picks the one He loves. God’s will has to prevail. Oh, my child, I pray that God will give you strength and courage to go through all this with hope.”
Then, she taught me another important lesson. She said, “Turn and look around when you think that you have had it bad. You will most often find that it could be worse.” She told me that my grandmother had given birth fourteen times, and only four of her children are alive. These comforting words of wisdom came from a woman who had just lost her daughter.
God is always our refuge, and we can trust in Him at all times. Even when we are experiencing overwhelming grief and sorrow, He shows us His love. May we see His kindness and mercy in every situation.