We could not have foreseen the tragedy that would strike our family on 16 December '06. However, the more I think about it, the more I believe God was preparing us. For me, it happened on the morning of December 10.
I woke at 5am (which never happens to me). I was unable to fall back to sleep. I had been sleeping restlessly for several hours. I had been troubled by violent and frightening dreams for the better part of the night. My mind was not at peace.
I shuffled downstairs in my robe, started a pot of coffee and sat down to read my Bible. I felt this urgency of spirit, something tugging at me. First, I spent a few moments in prayer, clearing my mind and committing my spirit to the guidance of His Spirit.
Then I began to read. I had been reading through the book of Romans. I decided to finish the book that morning. I was reading along and came upon this verse in Romans 15:13.
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
I was compelled to read and re-read this verse again & again. I was drawn to the consideration that our God is the God of Hope. He is the source of our Hope. I wrote the following in my journal:
"The power of the Holy Spirit is able to impart hope, joy and peace to my heart as I believe. I am reminded again that hope, joy and peace are not attached to the circumstances or current events of this world. It is a matter of believing. As I choose to believe, as I excercise my will and believe, despite and sometimes, in spite of, all the gloom that surrounds us in this world--I find hope, joy, peace."
What greater preparation for death than a renewal of hope? And what greater souce of Hope than God?
How is it possible to have hope in the very face of death? Through faith in the love of Christ, the One who has broken the power of death. He is the only One who has conquered death.
That morning, 10 December, God filled me with hope. My mind and heart were committed to Him. There was peace and joy in believing. I had no idea what was to come, but I rested in knowing He was the God of Hope.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ro. 8:38-39