Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV)
27 The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you,
saying, ‘Destroy them!’
1 Corinthians 15:26 (NIV)
27 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Our son Will has taken another step with his degenerative disease. On Monday night, November 12 we received a call from hospice saying they felt it was time to increase his morphine to control his growing discomfort. We called his brother and sister to let them know. His sister immediately booked a flight to come be with him. Older sisters are that way. After all, she has been one of his caregivers throughout his life, even from a distance.
Our minds turned to three times siblings of mine buried children at this time of year. One was 19 years ago this Friday, November 15, when our nephew Erik died unexpectedly at age 27, the result of an epileptic seizure. At Erik’s funeral his father, my brother Kirk, quoted the passage above from Deuteronomy and said, “That is what we are clinging to, that God is being our refuge and holding us in those everlasting arms.” That is where we are this week, confident that our son Will and we, his family, are being held in the everlasting arms of a loving God. And like a mother who cradles her child in her arms or a father who runs to embrace his child, God will not let us fall.
Kirk is a pastor also. At the time of his son’s death, he shared with us an overwhelming need to be strong for his congregation. Kirk did not want those he pastored to feel that he might have lost faith in a loving God. We want you to know that our journey with Will is difficult for us, but we do not doubt that God will see us through. We know that there is nothing in life nor in death that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Will has been God’s child since before he was conceived; he is God’s child through this time of suffering, and he will be God’s child for all eternity.
We love all of you and covet your prayers. Know this, the last enemy to be destroyed is death and Jesus has already taken care of that!