God’s grace each day…

God’s timing is perfect. His timing of rest is perfect. We drove back into town last night (21.01.13) about 830pm after a few days in Dubbo with some of my NZ family. We had waved goodbye as they left on the train at 2pm & drove straight home. The kids were brilliant, settled & travelled well. Drove into town at 8pm, hadnt got home yet and got a call from a teenager wanting to come round home. I was encouraged by this reminder that God’s timing is perfect. He gives us rest, restores our Souls & then in just the same perfect timing supplies opportunity to speak life & hope.

Today was ‘supposed’ to be a settle down day – well that’s what I had planned anyway! – back to routines, catch up on washing – the usual with 4 young kids in tow. But first I had to go for the glucose test for this pregnancy – 3 needles 1 hour apart. Paul took the kids for the two hours, I took a book. A close family friend was waiting at the hospital too – again perfect timing. It was a wonderful discussion, which without prompting spoke to the areas of my heart that needed speaking to. (That was the first hour). The second hour I got to read my book – ‘The ministry of motherhood’ (mentioned in a previous post). Again, perfect timing & perfect content for refreshing & guiding the heart.

The chapter I was reading was on the importance of imparting the greatness of Eternity with God into the hearts of our children. When Jesus was with the disciples he mentions / describes the Kingdom of God to them over 180 times in the New Testament! He was always reminding them of what was prepared for them, the contrast it was to life here on Earth and the wonder of an everlasting relationship with God the Father.

Paul and I have never had to deal with the death of any close family member of friend during the time we have known each other. Unfortunately, in the Indigenous Ministry we are involved in there is such a low life expectancy age (In some towns west of Moree, the life expectancy of Indigenous Men is around the 20-25 age range!) and for some attending 1-2 funerals a month is a common occurance. So, we’ve dealt with death at a distance, but not really up close. Until today.

I had 20minutes of the glucose test to go and Paul walks in to the waiting room. “Just got a call, Nan Peters isn’t expected to make it past today. She is very sick.” Nan Peters lives 120km west in a small town, Collarenebri. Nan gave her heart to the Lord when she was 12 and has walked with him since – she is 95 years old. Her ministry and testimony to God’s grace is commendable. Fellowship is hard to come by in these remote towns, preachers and teachers come and go, people will visit on circuits and tragically in some of these remote towns there is still a strong sense of racism. Not in all, but certainly in some. In one particular town, up until about 20 years ago, there was a service for white people and service for black people in one of the churches. An absolute tragedy.

So, Paul and I looked at each other and without hesitation said, “Well, I guess it’s off to Colly we go…” 45mins later we were on our way. A million and one things going through my head – “We’re supposed to be resettling the children” “I’ve got washing to do!” “What about the groceries?” “How are we going to share with the children about Nan – let alone approach the topic of death with them?” God blessed our discussion on the way. The kids each had a good sleep, which gave Paul and I time to process things and have a deep talk.

We arrived at the hospital. Paul went in and I waited with the children in the van. Family were arriving – grief was visible all over their faces. Paul came out and said it was my turn to go in, the ladies were waiting for me. This is certainly the closest I have been to someone who is dying. Strangely though I felt at peace. I walked into the room and sat with the ladies. I held Nan’s hand. After a while I went back out to Paul, and another close friend arrived with his guitar “Come on, lets go have a sing around Nan’s bed.” Time to take the children in. Reuben asked, “Why is it time for Nan to go home and be with Jesus?” Before Paul or I could answer Grace replied, “Because God has decided it’s time to have her home with Him.” – The kids walked into the hospital room, held her hand, gave her a kiss and joined in the singing. I am so grateful to God for this opportunity to discuss death with our children in such a beautiful way. We drove home late that night after we all said goodbye to Nan. Nan passed away peacefully at 6:03am  on January 26th. One of her favourite songs was an old Gospel song, “The King and I” I have pasted the words below, they are worth reflecting on.

The King and I

The King and I walk down life’s road together
Where many people go passing by
The greatest One, and I a lowly beggar
Walk hand in hand The King and I

Why He should care for me will always be a mystery
He holds the whole world in His hand but what am I
And so my heart somehow can’t help but wonder
Why we’re together, The King and I

The King and I not long ago were strangers
I walked alone, not knowing why
Until He came and put His arms around me
Now we’re not strangers The King and I

Why He should care for me will always be a mystery
He holds the whole world in His hand but what am I
And so my heart somehow can’t help but wonder
Why we’re together The King and I

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