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I Still Have Work for You

      By Fern Horst

"But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts." (Psalms 22:9)

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." (Psalm 116:15)

A friend recently sent me an email which contained letters that children had written to God. One of them read, "Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't you just keep the ones you got now?" This one especially stood out to me in light of my uncle's recent passing to his eternal home just six days after his granddaughter entered her earthly one.

Over forty years ago, as a young unmarried man, my father also asked God a question about a death that didn't seem to make sense. He was working as a hired man on a farm, when the man he was working for lost his battle with cancer. He left behind a wife and four children. The morning after Raymond's death, my father was outside working in the field agonizing over the loss for Raymond's young family. My father cried out, "Lord, why didn't you take me instead of Raymond?" God's answer to him was so clear he can tell it word for word today: "Because Raymond's work was finished, but I still have work for you to do."

God created each one of us with a unique set of abilities and personality and opportunities. No two of us are alike. He placed each one of us at just the point in the spectrum of time that He needed us to be here, in order to fulfill the purpose for which He designed us.

Some of you have lost a spouse, a family member, or a close friend, to death. Their passing to their eternal home may have left you with a big empty ache inside. You wonder if life is worth living without your loved one here with you. The loneliness seems overbearing at times.

Those are all normal thoughts and feelings in the process of grieving. But God in His wisdom has also designed us to heal emotionally. He gives us His grace and mercy to deal with the seemingly unbearable. In time we find that the pain lessens, the world around us seems brighter, and we have a renewed enthusiasm for the life God has given us. His design enables us to go on living, fulfilling our purpose, even when our dearest loved ones have passed on.

Last week my uncle's work was finished here, and God released him from his body to go to his eternal home and reward. But his wife's work is not yet finished, and we pray for God's grace for her to continue on accomplishing what He has for her. His granddaughter entered this world just days before to do the work God has designed for her to do. I stood by my uncle's bedside as God took him to heaven, but left me here. God evidently still has work for me to do.

Like my father, who thought that Raymond was more needed here than he was, we may think that our lives aren't as necessary as someone else's. But Raymond had already completed God's purpose for him being here. My father hadn't. And neither have you nor I. May God grant us each grace to fulfill our purpose, so that when God calls us home we will hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

"As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect." (Psalms 18:30-32)

© 2007 Fern Horst

NOTE: For the past eight years we have been basing these devotionals on the readings from the Bible Reading Schedule available on our website. For the next number of devotionals, however, we will be doing a series of devotionals from the Psalms.

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