Make a way for No Regret

Toledo I sat down the other  night to write and, was interrupted by my phone.
“Lois is not doing well. They will remove life support in the morning.”  the text said.
The news hit me like ice-cold water. I had to catch my breath, and I couldn’t think straight for a minute. I had no idea. She had not been in the best of health for a while now, a bout with pneumonia.  It hasn’t been an  easy two years for her. One illness after another with little reprieve. Continual pain, distress, injury, loss and everything unpleasant. Yet, she did not really let anyone see it. I can’t remember hearing her ever complain.
My heart is crushed under the weight of what I didn’t do. I didn’t realize the severity of the situation or I would have visited sooner, and prayed harder. I would have asked more questions, gleaned wisdom, watched her example more closely. You see that is how it is with death.
Death comes like a thief. It steals our loved ones. It shows no mercy. It does not discriminate. Death comes, we are usually not ready for it.
There are many reactions to a death. Anger…”Why did this have to happen?” Fear…”What am I going to do now, I am all alone.” Loss…”I’m am so empty. They were so much a part of me.” Denial…”Not possible, can’t be true, no way!” No Hope…”I can’t go on without them.” These are all natural responses. Grief, we all experience it. With Lois, for me, it is regret.
Regret is a heavy burden. From the British Dictionary:
Regret: noun

3.a sense of repentance, guilt, or sorrow, as over some wrong done or an unfulfilled ambition.

I have sorrow over the fact that I did not spend more time getting to know her. Listen to her talk of life and all that she had done and wanted to do. Her funeral revealed so much about her I didn’t know. Sad that I learned it too late. What I did know of Lois, was a kind, big-hearted, arms open, hugging woman, who loved others fiercely. That I will cherish. You see, I too am a hugger.

Death makes us aware of the life we have. The life we live, or don’t live. I often think, “Why didn’t I do this…Why didn’t I make the time…Why didn’t, Why?” Choices, and being wrapped up in my own, self-centered little world.

Jesus I don’t believe had any “Why didn’t” moments. I’m pretty sure almost all of His were “I did” or “I will”, or better yet…”I have!”

Die on a cross for our sins? Forgive your sins?…”I DID”, Jesus says.

Prepare a place for you? Be with you always?…”I WILL”, He says

Plans for my life? Unconditional love for you?…”I HAVE”, He promises.

IMG_2307Lois loved Jesus very much. She knew what lay ahead of her. She was ready. To be with Jesus is what death is for believers. In death, we will walk into His presence with no pain, no sorrow, no regrets. We are forgiven, loved and reaping the rewards of a life lived in Christ. Death in Christ, on this earth, is our entry point into heaven.

Do you live with regret? I know I do. In my sinful humanness I slip into self mode repeatedly. However, I am quicker to turn it around, place the regret at the feet of Jesus, and, walk away. Looking outward rather than in. Spending time with Jesus will do that for you.

 

In Him,

Amen

 

 

 

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