After battling brain cancer for 9 months, my dad went home to be with the Lord on April 4, 2023, at 2:38pm. It was 5 days before his 65th birthday, which was also Resurrection Sunday. My entire family – mom, my two brothers, my sister, our spouses, and every grandchild – were in that room when Dad took his last breath. You could never orchestrate it. But God was amazingly faithful to bring us all together for his passing.
All the way through my dad’s journey, he never allowed cancer or death determine his faith’s trajectory. He would meditate constantly on The Word and converse with the Lord on a daily basis. Even when he was declining in his final days, my mom asked him what he was thinking about… He whispered, “God.” My dad was immovable from his first love, and it is fitting that he is finally where he has always longed to be his whole life!
Anyone who has lost a loved one knows the dichotomy of your thoughts and feelings. Feeling devastated and heartbroken, yet knowing full well we will see him again, and how both remain completely relevant! Even Jesus, knowing full well that He could, and would, raise His friend Lazarus from the dead still wept with Mary and Martha (John 11). Jesus was demonstrating that grief and death is not an indicator that God’s blessing and goodness towards us has lifted. In fact, it is quite the opposite –
This is the very meeting place of God’s blessings in our life!
Matthew 5:3-12 says,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who
hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those
who are persecuted
because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you,
and falsely say all kinds of evil
because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
because great is your reward in heaven,
for in the same way
they persecuted the prophets
who were before you.
These Beatitudes are incredible. They are telling us that at every low point in our lives, there is a blessing waiting
I have never felt more limited, small, or poor in spirit than when I sat and watched my dad deteriorate rapidly. I was at a loss for words and at the limit of my faith. I was weak, and I became aware that there was a war for my weakness.
Just as much as God had a plan and purpose of blessing for me in this very moment, the enemy also had a plan and purpose. There were 2 invitations I could accept – the invitation to believe the blessings and promises of God. Or the invitation to doubt.
There are a myriad of factors as to why a bad thing may happen to a good person. But there is always one thing you can count on:
God always wants to bless you in those moments
and the enemy will try to plant doubt in your mind
to steal that blessing.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 Paul reveals,
But He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly
about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake,
I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,
in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Although my dad’s death was far earlier than anyone would’ve preferred, there is no victory for the enemy in it. I stand firmly on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I am determined to see this weak, heartbreaking, grievous point in my life become the catalyst for blessings, as well as furthering the Kingdom of Heaven!
For you dear reader, like my dad, I pray you will never allow persecution, injustice, grief or even death to cause you to waiver in your faith. That when there is a war for your weakness, and the enemy asks you, “Did God really say…?” You will answer “Yes. He did!” every time.
This is how we inherit the earth, see God, and advance the Kingdom of Heaven.
“The thief comes only
to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have
and have it
to the full