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"Death is the Gate to Life"
Part 3 "Three Bases and a Homerun!"
Mother told me this story personally only three times in my lifetime.
I clearly did not want to hear the story again. I already knew her story. Besides, she wasn't really listening to what I was saying! She had taken me aside and we were sitting on her bed. I felt her eyes searching my face for just a hint of softness. I mustn't let her see that I truly wanted the change to take place, but I just wasn't ready to go from point A to point B. It had been easy for her, I thought. God spoke into her heart directly in her distress. He hadn't to me, yet. I wanted desperately what I wanted. I would get what I wanted. We had recently returned from Hong Kong where my husband had helped to establish a hospital for the refugees pouring in from Canton, China. We had also been deeply grieved by what we saw there in missions and "the church." So our "heart-soil," made bitter by our experiences, was fertile for seeds of discontent and rebellion to take root.
God took us through four years of drought, anguish and sorrow to make us thirst for Him and not a "calling." Just when we thought we would die -- both metaphorically and really -- He spoke into my heart. Suffice at this point to say, we were delivered. And I heard my mother tell her story again!
This second time we were trying to find our way back to God. Mother came to stay with us, and instead of “preaching” to us, she poured herself out in love and action. For three weeks she helped to care for the children, gathered treasures on the beach with them when I couldn't, mopped my floors, cooked, simply moving in grace while I tried to find my way out of the dark. The last day, as she was closing her suitcases, she looked up at me and said, “Sweetheart, without a true death. . .there can be no resurrection!”
Years of "resurrection" and life did follow for our family. I went from point A to point B. We all did.
The third time I heard her tell the story was a few weeks before she died. I pulled back the sheets one Sunday morning, and climbed in to hold her closely in bed. Softly, she began telling me the story all over again. She wept at the very memory of that holy occasion when God met her heart cry at Aunt Helen’s grave in Sumatra. She knew she would be going to Heaven soon. This time I would be wanting to see God’s will done on earth, just as she was about to see it in Heaven. She knew what it would cost. She wanted to tell me one more time the precious truths. Daddy came in from church and found us. "What is happening?" he questioned with alarm. Tears were streaming down our cheeks. "Oh, we are just sharing our hearts before I leave."
In Sumatra, Mother had an agenda of doing certain things to make our complex household run right. She assumed she was right. She was Mommy to six children under the age of nine. She felt she was really the only one who was able to fix things, and it was all up to her.
She gave up her agenda. She repented of her self-pity and anger. She began thanking Him for HIS AGENDA. Thanking Him for what HIS plan was going to accomplish. She accepted the fact that it was their suffering that would bring them into closer dependency and fellowship with God Himself.
"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus concerning you!" God is GOOD, all the time, God is GOOD!
"Without a true death, there can be no resurrection!"
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