Days in the Lord’s Book

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Days in the Lord’s Book

She lost her son, but, in due time, she obtained the true value of life – that is the hope to be with the Lord forever.

The book is the Creator’s Book of Life. It records the days of our earthly life, shorter or longer, only in the hands of the Almighty God.

The Bible says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your Book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139: 16).

Once our days are numbered in the Book of the Lord, instead of asking, “Why me?” we should say, “Lord, what is it that you have planned for me in this life, and what will it be after it passes?”

The following words come from a loving mother mourning the loss of her son, recounting how she was strengthened to endure the pain that broke her heart.

Forget-me-not is in front of my son’s picture;  Forever lost is his answer to my call for him to be back!

My beloved son, Ming Tong, is with the Lord.

At the same cemetery and in the same hall, I saw my husband off three years ago; I could never have thought of returning here to speak at my son’s memorial ceremony.

My Lord, how can I stand without strength from you? I could have been crushed in spirits. But you’re with me in my heart, sharing my deep sorrows and agony. You’re my strength!

I must say what’s happened in the past three years is beyond me, and I refuse to accept it! My son’s death has dealt me another round of despair, depression, and loss of hope. I am so helpless!

I asked the Lord if He could have given me different trials. Why did you take away my own precious flesh and blood – my dear son? I couldn’t accept it.

But as I calmed down, I realized that illness and death is inevitable; everyone will have to deal with it. What’s important is not to let sufferings confuse our outlook. Blessed are those who could see the eternal hope beyond life and death.

Beyond life and death

It was 30 years ago when my son was born for only five months. How lively was his cute little face, fresh as a ripened peach and exuberant with bright eyes! Being so comfortable when fed, he would just yawn and went back to sweat dream-land.

Unexpectedly, my son got serious intestinal blockage (Intussusceptions) causing bloody stools and vomiting. His life was in danger, and all of us were left in panic. We were lost in fear not knowing what to do. Fortunately, a well-known doctor was sent for, who spent four hours operating on my son and finally saved his life. The doctor’s surname was Tong, so we re-named our son Ming Tong as an expression of our gratitude to his life-saving treatment.

In retrospect 30 years later, we should have been thankful for the Lord’s mercy to have added three decades to his life. It’s storied that there was once a queen who would rather spend all her wealth just to extend a short moment of her life, but to no avail. Our son, however, was blessed with many days of happiness and pleasure. Lord, who can say this is not your amazing grace for my son!

A frail yet cheerful young man

After the surgery, our son grew up like other children, but he was physically weak. He frequented the doctor’s office. But his frailty won more favour and love of his parents and family. He was treasured with all the affection and care. He was the source of happiness for our whole family. For him, I prayed numerous prayers asking the Lord to bless his health
and his study. We spent so much wonderful loving and happy time together.

My innocent little boy was generously kind to others and lovingly obedient to me. Love kept us together, and nothing could set us apart. We knew and appreciated each other. He was an out-going young man who loved the freedom of travelling around. Nothing seemed to bother him because he had nothing to worry about. He was happily content. He was also blessed with a well-educated, understanding, and agreeable girlfriend. My son had much love and care for her in return.

Three days in a coma

Four years ago, he was once critically ill and passed out in a coma. He was then hospitalized for a long time. I prayed for him earnestly, asking the Lord to save his life with mine. I wanted him to live! My son recovered miraculously. Last year, he passed out again, adding so much pain to my heart. I almost lost hope for his recovery, but he came back again to life thanks to much praying of the church. He defeated death once more.

He was, after all, flesh and blood with limits in the battle against illness. Not long ago, he got bronchitis, which was the last straw that took his life.

How I wished all this had been but a nightmare!

Seeing Jesus in the last moments

In his last moments, he shared a lot with me. He seemed to have so much to tell me but it was hard to make sense of all his words. I held his face and hands close to mine, calling his name and comforting him, “My son, Mom is with you, the Lord is with you, don’t be afraid.”

Out of unconsciousness, he was suddenly lucid and turned over to me, saying “Oh, Lord Jesus, it’s Jesus! I fear nothing because I don’t have to. Be still!” These are his last words.

Oh, Lord, my son saw you! Like many Christians, he saw Jesus coming to him at the moment of leaving this world for heaven.

No wonder he was not afraid. He even tried so hard to let us know and comfort us who were alive. We were told to live well in this life, not to be restless, not to fear death because on this other side is light and rest, not despair.

A burning heart

The day before his passing away, brothers and sisters from the church came to visit. They took turns to pray earnestly for him and more for me. He was still faithful even knowing his life was nearing its end.

Nothing but the words of the Lord could comfort my broken heart. I felt consumed by fire into ashes when I left the hospital in sad confusion. The world felt like an empty and meaningless place for me. It was dark, and in darkness I felt everything is lost. At that very moment, comforting words from the Lord popped up in my mind. “I wiped your tears and I’ve given you abundantly even though it felt like I’ve taken too much from you.” I could not stop my tears, but all I could do was to ask “Why?”

The unfailing love of God

We trust God, but God never promised us a life with no suffering and hardship. It can’t be blue sky and beautiful flowers all the time. But God did promise us energy in life, light on the road, rest from work, grace in trial, help in need, unconditional forgiveness, and unfailing love.

Yes, God promised us eternal life, God promised us unfailing love. While broken-hearted and exhausted, I asked, “Who in history could have avoided the sufferings of life?”

I was comforted with the idea that my son was not born into wars and social turmoil, he lived a worry-free life with warmth of his family, and died peacefully with hope for eternal life. What more could my son have asked for?

He was protected from dangers of life, from poverty and restlessness, from human evils; he never experienced war and massacre; his world was filled with kindness and beauty; he had what he desired; he didn’t experience the pain of aging and old age; his life was a delightful journey.

Cheered after a long night of sorrows

As an old saying goes, “It’s hard for the grey-haired to witness the death of the black-haired.” How can someone give up their flesh and blood? What’s the difference between black- or grey-haired? I picked the casket style and tombstone for my son. I put his portrait on the stone. In it, he smiled at us as if he was joking, “Silly Mom, don’t be sad and angry. I’m in paradise having the joy unmatched anywhere in your world – here we have no sorrow, no tears, no evil, no death, and no illness that had tormented me for so long… The day will come when we will unite again and never separate!”

After the memorial service, I asked his casket be opened so that his sister and brother, his girl friend, and I could put in it our love letters for him and some memorable items.

I kissed the cold forehead of my son and stared at his face that was unnaturally made up. He was not dead; he was asleep. He was being mischievous with us as he often had made faces to amuse me. I honestly didn’t believe he was dead; I expected him to sit up all of a sudden to laugh and say he was pulling a prank on us.

On the day of burial, I was carrying his urn, which might have seemed like a terrible thing for others. But I held it tightly in my arms — his love, his soul, his body, they were all in my arms. He was born a lovely boy; now in my arms he was still my son. Our love endured.

In the car to the cemetery, I could not hold back tears. I was whispering to my son our love for each other of so many years, recalling the times when we were together. When the car pulled up at the cemetery, all the emotions poured back to my heart!

I knew it was time for our final hug and departure!

Abundant grace from the Lord

Life is a journey. Everyone is on the same train. My son, you just got off at a station earlier. When you got off, you saw the light of Jesus, you knew where you were going, and you’ll
rest forever in that peaceful and bright place. You met Jesus already!

Dear readers: The time will come when you must get off the train. But do you know where you’re heading? Are you fearful when you fumble in darkness? Your only assurance lies with the Lord. When you’re alive and healthy, I ask that you seek Jesus and wait no more.

The last time my son was in hospital, I met a young man with stomach cancer. He was about to have half of his stomach cut off. We introduced our Lord Christ to him and urged him to believe in this living and saving God. He and his sister all believed in Jesus. Afterwards, he acknowledged that he had been scared before the surgery, but the prayers of Christian brothers and sisters, he got faith, calmed down, and recovered from the surgery soon.

The real, everlasting self

Our soul, our real self is like a master: the world and our body are like hotels. After the journey, long or short, we all have to pay the bill and go home. My son finished his journey in this world. What he left me is his lovely naughtiness, his broad smiles, his pleasing voice – they all live in my heart. I’ll forever remember them. Now my son is gone and can no longer answer my call. I’m left with a long sigh for the indescribable loss.

But I know now that my son could have died 30 years ago, but that didn’t happen. A young man who might have lost his chance of growing up in this world had been blessed with life, breath, and a young, kind and energetic heart for many years. Now he is free from all the worldly worries and will be united with us eventually. I can now wipe out my tears, praise the Lord, and carry on in my remaining days in this world.

Without the hope for eternal life, what a sad life would it be for us?

Dear friends: It’s my heart-felt hope that my words will help you seek our Lord’s saving grace. If you’d like to know more about Jesus and his ministries, please contact your local Christian church for more information.

* Copyright © ArkChannel and the authors *

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