“Rejoice in the Lord always.” ~ Philippians 4:4
By Jill Briscoe
Always, Lord? Always? The day my mother died I read in the Word of God that Jesus said to His disciples, “If you loved Me, you would rejoice because ... I am going to the Father.”
“Can’t you rejoice for your mother?” the minister asked me. “I could if I were not grappling with guilt,” I replied.
How was I to cope with the guilt that said
I had the chance, and I didn’t take it;
I had the prayers, and I didn’t pray them;
I had the love, and I didn’t give it;
I had the words, and I didn’t say them!
My friend reminded me that I needed to think of Mother instead of myself!
That day my mother was in heaven, where
God had the chance, and He was taking it;
He had the prayers, and He was praying them;
He had the love, and He was giving it;
He had the words, and He was saying them!
Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with a great hunger for a sight of her, a touch of her. Then I remember where she is and I seem to imagine her saying, “You shouldn't feel my loss so much. You know where I am and who I’m with. Sooner than you know, you will be here, too!” I know one thing. She doesn’t want me to carry the guilt of “all I didn’t do,” so I leave it at the empty tomb, and rejoice!