Monday, March 24, 2008

What Resurrection Day Means To Me

It has been an emotional weekend for our extended family. We found out early Saturday morning that my cousin's wife and two sisters were in a fatal car accident late Friday night in upstate PA. My cousin's wife and her youngest sister were killed instantly when a drunk/high driver failed to negotiate a turn and hit them head on. The middle sister, who was driving, is in critical condition with internal injuries and a leg that is all but destroyed and will possibly need to be amputated to some degree. My cousin and his wife have a four year old daughter who was adopted from China a few years ago, and her sister and husband have three young sons and a foster son who subsequently was returned to social services...loss upon loss. The surviving sister has a 16 year old son. As details of this tragedy unfolded over the weekend, I couldn't help but think about the ramifications for my cousin, and how important it is to keep short accounts because you never know what the future holds. He didn't go to bed Friday night thinking that his wife and sisters-in-law wouldn't return home from dinner and shopping. He didn't expect to get awakened abruptly by state police at 4 a.m. with such horrendous news. He didn't expect to be burying his 39 year old wife this week and raising a daughter by himself. He didn't expect any of this...BUT IT WAS NOT A SURPRISE TO GOD.

Yesterday, my cousin's wife and her sister celebrated Resurrection Day in Heaven. They were embraced by their father, who passed away almost two years ago. They were greeted by my grandfather, who preceded them almost 25 years ago, whom my cousin's wife had heard a lot about, but had never met. And they were welcomed home by their Heavenly Father, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus Christ himself, who made their eternity in Heaven possible through His sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection over 2000 years ago. For you see, at a specific point in time, both of these young ladies placed their faith and trust in Christ and asked Him to forgive them of their sins and be their Lord and Saviour...Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life eternal.

As we gathered to celebrate Resurrection Day at church yesterday, we sang that beautiful Gaither song, "Because He Lives". As I sang the familiar words, I was struck afresh and anew by the third stanza and chorus:
And then one day I'll cross that river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory--
And I'll know He lives.
Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living--
Just because He lives.
I thought of my cousin, and the peace he has in the midst of his grief, because he knows his wife is in Heaven, and he will see her again someday. And the hope he has in the midst of his grief, because he knows that God will sustain him and his daughter through the difficult days ahead...BECAUSE JESUS LIVES! It is my prayer that all who read this blog would know that same peace and that same hope that only trusting in Jesus's finished work on the cross can bring. If you do not know that if YOU were to be struck by a drunk driver tonight and killed instantly, YOU would be in Heaven with Jesus...please allow me to share with you how you CAN be sure!
What does Resurrection Day mean to me?


Bethany Hissong said...

Oh Terri, this is really sad news. I am so sorry for your cousin and for you and your family. You are absolutely right. And what a powerful thought during Easter, to fully understand God's saving grace. They will need to lean heavily on their faith right now. I will say prayers for them... especially the children. My heart just breaks whenever I hear of a child losing their parent. More hugs from here!!

stephanie garcia said...

Beautiful thoughts, Ter.