“Grandma died at 7:30.” This was the text I received from my wife this morning, and while the message did not surprise either of us, in that moment, my heart was both sad and filled with joy. Sad, because Rebecca’s Grandma had become my Grandma. All of my grandparents died by the time I was 17 years old, but when Rebecca and I married, I inherited a new set of grandparents. Erwin and Shirley Leich never treated me like an in-law, but always as a grandson. They were loving, and accepting, and they were there for us every time we needed them, regardless of the request. As the years passed, we spent less time at Grandma’s house…we were busy with a family of our own, and we were separated by many miles. However, we were always comforted by the fact that Grandma was there. I’m sad this morning because I’ll miss seeing her…she was a very special lady.
The joy I felt comes from two specific truths. First, Grandma trusted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Because of God’s grace both she, and Papa faithfully served the Lord with their lives, through their church. Not only did they serve God, but they also personally worshipped the Lord through their devotional life. Rebecca has told me time and again how Papa and Grandma would read God’s Word, and pray together every morning. The example of their faithfulness made a tremendous impact on Rebecca’s life. They were her spiritual mentors, they were the people God used to guide her heart to truly know, love, and follow Jesus. Today, my family, and the ministry God has entrusted to us have been directly impacted by Papa and Grandma’s example of faith. Second, the Psalmist said; “Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of his saints.” The word “precious” means that the Lord places great value on the lives of His saints. Grandma, as a ransomed child of God, was of such inestimable value to God that He not only sustained her in life, but He personally watched over her in passing from this life. Concerning the death of believers, Spurgeon wrote; “The Lord watches over their dying beds, smooths their pillows, sustains their hearts, and receives their souls. Those who are redeemed with precious blood are so dear to God that even their deaths are precious to him.” My heart is filled with joy because Grandma was not alone this morning! When she breathed her last breath, her Savior was there. The One she loved carefully cradled her spirit in His arms, and carried her to the throne of God. It’s hard not to have joy when you consider the impact of Grandma’s life and the preciousness of her physical death.
Rebecca and I will miss Grandma, just like we’ve missed Papa. But we will rejoice in the hope that God has provided through the finished, redemptive work of His Son.