In mother's death, the healing power of God delivers
My mom died in an unexpected and tragic way from a preventable complication of back surgery. I was there when it happened. I noticed she wasn’t breathing and initiated first response care. I felt responsible for successfully applying CPR on my mother, and I felt her ribs crack under my hands while I watched her face, looking for signs of response. The memory of it would haunt me later. I prayed for a multitude of things I don’t even remember, and I prayed for His presence.
Among the first things I noticed that God did to help that day, was provide the gift of a remarkable response from medical personal.
I began CPR within 60 seconds after my mom stopped breathing. After a 9-1-1 call, emergency staff arrived in less than five minutes. The God of comfort was already in motion, to let me know that everything that could be done that day was done. That knowledge was important to my healing process. There is nothing I could have changed. Later we learned that blood clots in her lungs had stopped the flow of blood and oxygen. She should have been on blood thinners, but was not.
God is all knowing, and He knew what was going to happen that day. I can now see that in my life God had prepared me, from 15 years in the medical field as a cardiac tech specialist, to 13 years as a Christian for spiritual preparation. I was uniquely prepared to help in several ways. We went to the hospital where I worked and knew people. I was able to help family and coordinate things on that horrible day. Later, I was the one who led the funeral service. Talk about God being the one who gives strength. He gave me strength to get through this. With a variety of emotions swirling around inside of me, He really was my anchor that kept me steady. Many found it remarkable that I was able to do and show the leadership needed. I got lots of compliments. I credit that to God. I was experiencing God’s comfort in the days that followed, and because of that, I was able to let some of it pass through me to others in the family. I could not have done that before I was a Christian.
I already had the next Sunday’s sermon prepared, based on John 11:35. It focused on how Jesus saw what people went through and wept, and how He enters our grief with us. A coincidence that I already had that message prepared. I preached that message with a new perspective that was not planned. I never really struggled with anger over my mother’s death, because I saw the compassion of God throughout. I knew His presence was there. Because of God’s patience, I have learned to accept things as they are, not as I wish them to be.
God is the one who heals the broken hearted. I can tell you that He has healed my heart. I am still sad now and then. I miss her. I shed occasional tears at memories. But I have been healed from the memories of that day. My heart has been restored. I can still picture and feel her ribs under my hands. But I am grateful that I, and not someone else in my family, was chosen for that burden.
Sure, I wish God would have simply prevented that day. But He didn’t. Instead He prepared me. The things God had already done in my life, from the medical background to spiritual leadership, have kept me in awe over how He truly is the anchor and author of my faith. For decades He had been molding me to be the man I needed to be that day for my family. He created in me a faith that has become one of trust in Him, combined with actions that I can do in His strength.
I don’t think He is finished with my faith. There is more to learn. I am confident that He is a good teacher. Let Him be your teacher, and rely on Him in your moment of need.
Randell Jones is a Reverand at Gate Way Fellowship in Chugiak. For more information, call 688-4283, or go to www.gate-way-fellowship.com.