For I am with thee!
Yesterday would have been my sister Gayle’s 66th birthday. Unfortunately 6 ½ years ago my sister lost her battle to breast cancer. We all mourned her loss, with heavy hearts, and still miss her to this day. But as there are two sides to every coin, there is also two sides to this tragedy. My sister was fearless! A devout Christian, since the day she surrendered her life to Christ, she has served him with unfailing loyalty.
I am not saying that there were no fears in her life, I am saying she face them with the knowledge that she was never alone. She lived with the unshakable faith that Jesus Christ was with her every moment of her life. At the age of 22, Gayle said her wedding vows, to her betrothed Jerry, at the 1972 FBC pastor school in front of 5300 people. I would have fainted dead on the spot, but not Gayle. She agreed to this wedding, in front of all these people, as part of a learning experience for pastors from all over the world. Of course her family and friends were there also, and the reception was much more intimate, but she still had to get to the wedding first. She was always willing to serve, and do the will of the Lord, from nursery duty, to singing solos, supporting her husband, in his bus ministry, college education, and to giving birth to her five beautiful children.
Gayle was also fearless and speaking her mind, especially when it came to unfair practices. The first example that comes to mind is when she would sound off to people who abused the system, i.e., getting free medical emergency room services, for things that were not an emergency. This would land her, for a short stint, in what she would call “magic school”, where she would learn how to be more politically correct. Gayle never worried about being politically correct, she worried about being morally correct, and was never ashamed of her beliefs.
Moving from the Calumet Region to Louisiana could be a cause of fearful anticipation, if it were anyone but Gayle. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord would direct her path, because she long ago, surrendered her life to His service. Moving again from Louisiana to Whittier, California, could have also been a cause for fear and anxiety, except for the reasons stated above, her knowledge that God would never leave her.
Gayle also stared in the face of death without fear. How could she do that, you ask? Because she was 100% certain of what came after her final breath, everlasting life! Gayle knew that being absent from the body, meant she would be in the presence of the Lord. Her faith never wavered one iota in this regard. If she could speak to you today she would encourage each and every one of you to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. That way you to could be certain of your eternal life in heaven.
As parents, it is our responsibility to counsel our children during times of loss of a family member. But long before that ever occurs, they should have been given the knowledge of how to attain eternal life! The Easter season fast approaching, gives parents a perfect time to teach their children the true meaning of Easter. About the death, burial, and resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. God the Father gave His only Son, for our redemption of sin. A free gift for the asking. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!
We as authors, often make the heroes of our story, fearless characters. My only wish as an author is that people can be blessed by what I put to pen. I’m sure I’ve only hit a few highlights of my sister Gayle’s life, but if you get anything from this writing, get the story of the unshakable knowledge that her eternity was guaranteed!
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:6 & 8
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
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.