Over the course of a few weeks, Lianna is taking Of Larks through a series on coming into rest in Christ. Today's post is the second in a four-part series. Follow along with the series here.
I’ve been mentally preparing for the death of my husband for three years.
He’s not sick; there is no disease he is battling or has battled. His job doesn’t require that he put his life in danger or even that he travel very much. I have no reason to especially believe that he will die young. But I have lost someone very close to me.
After way too many times of catching my thoughts at, “If he dies, I will manage by doing this, this, and this,” I finally heard what was underneath, prompting these thoughts. I don’t want to be surprised again. I don’t want to hear the unexpected news that someone else I love dearly is now gone.
I have been preparing myself to not be surprised again. Yet, how can I know the ways God would intervene and sovereignly work in my life to carry me forward should that time ever come? The concern has been of an emotional nature; if I could remain emotionally prepared for my husband’s death, I wouldn’t feel so surprised and maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much. I am a planner and problem-solver. So, for me, experiencing the unexpected loss of someone I love has resulted in unnecessary emotional preparedness.
Jesus knew that we would experience suffering and grief between His first coming and second. I have no reason to believe that I won’t suffer again. As long as the Lord tarries and keeps me here, I can fairly safely assume I will again lose someone I love; I will again suffer.
But, this I know: He knows what I would need. So, if I have faith, I do not need to live endlessly bracing myself for unknowns. Matthew 6:25-34 gave me tear-filled relief. I paraphrased the passage for myself like this:
Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life—who close to you will die next and when. Do not be anxious about how you would be sustained if someone does.
Is life not more than days on earth—and your sustenance requiring more than any plans you could devise? By being anxious about the death of one you love, could you possibly add a single minute to his life or add a single joy to yours?
Consider the lilies. They grow and they are adorned. And consider the birds of the air. They have sustenance at the very times when they need food. Yes, your Father provides for them, and you are far more valuable to Him than they. Will God not much more clothe and feed you with His presence of care and unending provisions should more loss come?
Child of little faith—
Do not be anxious, saying, “I need to prepare myself emotionally for husband’s unknown day of death.” God already knows exactly what you need in your life and when.
Instead, use your heart and mind to seek first the kingdom of God, giving yourself to My ways and gospel mission. Child, you can trust that all of My sovereign provisions will be added to you until I call you to my presence.
Do not be anxious about tomorrow. The end has already been planned from the beginning. I am not surprised, and more; I care for you. Simply meet the concerns of each day as they come; I am near.
Reader, your area of unnecessary emotional preparation might be different from mine. But are your emotional preparations taking you away from the present? Are you stealing from yourself the rest that He extends by doing so?
One of the most important questions I am learning to ask myself in learning to rest is—what am I preparing myself for that is stealing me away from the concerns of this day and keeping me from having rest about the future? He knows what I will need for the plans He has in store. Has He not been faithful in providing thus far? Has His Word not told me that He would provide what I need in order to seek His kingdom until He brings me home?