Today I finally got around to searching for and finding podcasts by Greg Laurie. He is an amazing pastor out of California who I used to listen to in New Mexico. I downloaded what was available and we listened this morning. In July Greg lost his oldest son in a car accident and these podcasts were about the grieving and healing that has occurred since July.
This evening we went to visit a “home bound” member of our church. She is in a nursing home and shares a room with another patient. Her half of the room is the half farthest away from the door. She has the window on one side and the salmon pink curtain on the other which divides the room. The curtain blocks nothing but light. As we entered her room we had to walk past her roommate who was in the process of taking her last breaths. We visited for about ten minutes and then were asked to leave by one of the staff members. We’re almost sure it was so her roommate could die in what privacy that double room could muster. Reagan contemplated this on the drive home and ended up concluding, “at least she got to live out her life.”
Today I am thankful for life and every part we get to live while alive. I am reminded that I need to be thankful everyday for what time I have been given on this earth and what time I have been given to spend with loved ones. Only God knows if my story will be that of Greg’s who has to live past his child, Greg’s son who died at 33, or the lonely old lady in the shared room who got to live out her life.
I am thankful that I know for a certainty…without a shadow of a doubt…where I will be the moment my eyes close permanently here on earth. In each one of us there is a desire that we’re trying to fulfill. A desire for something greater than us to complete us. For something that will make us feel “settled” as a human being. Until that desire has been fulfilled we search for things that will placate us. This searching leads to temporary satisfaction, but always leaves us wanting something else. Something deeper.
Du calls this a God-sized hole in each of our hearts. We try to fill it with meaningless things. With things we think are meaningful. With things people tell us are what we need to be focused on. But those never work do they? Jesus Christ fills this hole perfectly. He gives me calm in the storm, assurance during uncertainty, elation during joyful times, peace no matter what. And He gives me an eternity during which I get to bask in His presence and worship Him unencumbered. I tell you, I can’t wait to be able to praise God the way Heaven intends.
That certainty of being able to live past this decrepit body and tainted earth is what I am thankful for today. It is what keeps Greg Laurie going each day. It is what he knows his son is experiencing right now. And Lord willing, it is what the little old lady has passed onto this very evening.