“…where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.” —Psalm 65:8
As many of our brothers and sisters at NSCBC know, on October 22, 2016 we lost our youngest son to metastatic adenocarcinoma pancreatic cancer at the age of 39. I believe that, since we arrived here on July 6 to join in his care, my faith has been tested, kept me hoping, forced me into intense prayer, and buoyed me up in ways that I had not experienced in the past 40 years of my walk with Christ. The loss of a child reaches down into the deepest parts of one’s soul, inspiring questioning, doubt, fear, and despair…and yet, the morning dawns and the light shines and the world ambles along.
By the grace of our most gracious Father, I am not one given to depression naturally and have always been the “Polyanna” of the family. As a result, the verses that speak of His mercies being new every morning have not often been in my purview. It has been difficult for me to minister to those with the propensity to sorrow and despair.
Since we received the news of our son’s diagnosis I have finally experienced directly God’s rescue, His boundless joy, and His presence in ways I could only hope for in the past. Because Jesus Christ experienced extreme sorrow, He knows our sorrow. Because He experienced extreme pain, He knows our pain. When we choose to accept His great gift of salvation, we can experience the hope of the resurrection. That hope is the lifeline that I have used to not only survive, but to have joy in, my son’s graduation to life eternal. Rather than dwell on his last dying hours, I choose to see him dancing and singing and feasting with the saints!
At our times of deepest pain and sorrow, questioning and fear, let’s look to Jesus and the gift He has given of sure salvation, pure love, eternal joy, and endless peace. In the words of George MacDonald, “In the holy hush of the early dawn I hear a voice – ‘I am with you all the day, Rejoice! Rejoice!’”
Linda King began attending NSCBC after moving to the North Shore to care for her son, Michael, after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her daughter, Elizabeth Erikson, is a member of the church. The family continues to grieve, but they have been encouraged by the hope, love, joy, and peace that is provided through Christ.