“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way s/he should go and even if they don’t have a chance to grow old, they will not depart from it. If you are a parent who has ever lost a child to an untimely death, be comforted by that promise.
A few weeks ago I struggled with posting my usual musical, happy note, good morning message. It just didn’t seem right when 27 year old Lea Mulder was suffering the final stages of cancer. You know what it says in John 14:2? It’s where Jesus tells us that his Father’s house has many rooms and he is there preparing a place for those who love and follow him. Lea’s place wasn’t read a few weeks ago. Yesterday, Lea went home to be with her Lord and Savior. Her last breath on Earth began with celestial air of heaven. I will always remember Lea for her audacious spirit, witty, bright character, her drive to overcome defeating obstacles, and her unshakable faith. More than any other characteristic Lea had, it’s her faith that led her home. Now Lea is there working alongside her Lord to get rooms ready for her loved ones who will someday follow her there. It says it right here in Isaiah 11:6 “a little child will lead them.” Right? No matter how grown up our children are, they are still our little children; we are God’s children.
This young woman was a testimony of her faith in God despite her painful physical condition and frail health. She pressed on – and on – and on. Following her on Facebook was a lesson in hope and determination. If I could learn life lessons in walking uprightly, Lea was the master teacher. I think Isaiah 57:2 pretty much sums it up “Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” Lea is at peace and she is dancing in the streets where the lights never dim, and nobody ever cries out in anger or fear. I love this verse. Jeremiah 31:13 “Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”
As parents who have had to say the last good-bye to a child, it’s excruciating – like ripping off a piece of your own flesh and pummeling every organ inside your body. The pain subsides, but never goes away. We are devastated and wonder what was God thinking; how could this happen? We have to remember that nothing catches God by surprise. Before we were conceived God knew the day he would call us home – call our child home. I think that’s why God wrote in John 14:8 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” If you know someone who has suffered a deep loss, now would be a good time to ask God to reach down and gather them into his comfort. When I think of loved ones left behind I can only be thankful that in Revelation 21:4 we are given a glimpse of eternal life as we are promised “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” When I think of friends today who have lost a daughter, son or any other loved one, I will be remembering this promise.
Lea is celebrating with her savior today. She is living in the kingdom just like it says here in Matthew 5:12 “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”
Pray for Lea’s parents Kirk and Sherri and sister Leslie and brother-in-law Nelson. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “Isaiah 41:10