I try to keep a good balance of subjects related to the ministry on the blog and my goal has always been to write about my experiences as a ministry wife and mother as well as other articles related specifically to help people in ministry. Today I just want to write about the prayers going up and tears coming down in my heart.
Last week our deacon with the brain cancer passed away. The rest of my husband’s week has been consumed with taking care of helping the family make the service arrangements. He has allowed our pastor to have some cushion of his time to prepare for the sermons that have needed to be ready for Sunday and the memorial service. My husband expressed, “I feel like I have been so busy with getting things ready that I cannot even be sad until after the memorial service.”
We see it too, the busyness that surrounds the preparations for the funeral. He was a police officer and formerly in the navy and the community’s outpouring of love toward this family has been enormous. Our little church is expecting more people in our building than we have ever had before. It is amazing to see how the Lord has worked over the past years to be able to host and minister. Our hearts yearn for souls to be saved and people to understand the gospel’s message clearly so they can have the peace that passes all understanding like this family has had. This man’s entire goal was to remain faithful until the end. You see, he had battled this cancer before and been in remission until it came back with 16 tumors this time. His last diagnosis was weeks or months to live but the Lord gave him another year and a half. Personally and for our church it has been a long road of prayer and support and we feel the loss greatly.
As church staff we were close to them, but we are still outsiders to the family’s grief. We are hurting and grieving mildly with a bit of rejoicing knowing that our prayers are truly answered and he has been healed to the fullest extent possible. He is at peace with our Saviour. The tears and sadness I feel is for their family and I realize that I cannot minister to them without praying. I believe that I can serve them with my actions, but my prayers will do what I cannot.
As people come in to offer their condolences, I am not sure another set of words from my mouth will be any different from the person that has spoken to them already or will speak to them after me. My words, believe it or not, in situations like these never come out the way I want them to. So, I will pray and ask the Lord to meet the needs of their hearts that only He knows. I will pray that God will protect them from hurt during this time of tenderness. I will pray and ask Him to speak to them from His Word. I will pray that they will not stray through confusion, but will rest in God’s promises. I will pray that God will be the husband to this widow and the father to these fatherless. I will pray that as his parents are now childless that their bosoms will be filled with love for their daughter-in-law and their grandchildren.
As the tears fall down, my prayers will go up because any words I say will not be as good as the comfort that God gives.
So, as you go through these sad times of grieving for saints that have gone on to heaven, please remember to surround their family with prayer not for weeks, but for at least a year. They need your loving prayer support as much as they may need some of your physical support. God will fill in the gaps when you may feel helpless. He is the God of all comfort!