Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas gift left by Hannah

The week before Hannah passed away, she was attending VBS at the Calvary Chapel, South bay. On the last day I believe, she came home with a foil wrapped paper cup with a smiley face named Jesus going into the cup right through the middle of it. She kept it on the table and told us " This has to be opened only on Christmas day." It has been sitting there since then. After Hannah passed away we have all been taking guesses as to what it is. It might be something that Hannah wrote or some craft she did at the VBS or some ornament she made....or maybe even, there is nothing in it! On the side of the cup there is a sticker that says " I am a new creation" and on the top of the verse is a typed verse " I want to know Christ and the power of his Resurrection" signed Hannah. Anyways, I am counting days to see what Hannah has left for us this Christmas.
Who wants to take a guess? Nimmy..?
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Painful Season

I have had many of my friends and loved ones ask me, " Is it difficult for you this time of the year?" or " How are you coping with your loss, in this season?" I had thought about it much. For me losing Hannah and living with that loss is the same pretty much everyday. But I also understand that the celebrations of the season makes it hard for people who have had losses. They are not in the mood to celebrate but they see everyone but them, enjoying. They look at every family that is intact and think, Why just us?

I went through such an emotional war last week. I was eating breakfast by myself and I cried out to the Lord, " Lord, this accident that happened is so ugly. You could have called her home many other ways. I am always going to carry this ugly memories all my life, there is nothing good about this, Lord. Even after many years, when people look at it they are going to shudder. How are you ever going to glorify your name through this ugly accident Lord?" As Faithful as my Lord is, He met me at the breakfast table in a wonderful way that I think is worthy of mentioning in this blog. He said " My child, Look to the cross, it is even uglier than this. When my son died (for you), he was marred beyond recognition. There was nothing desirable about him. When he who created the universe hung upon that Roman cross, When he who knew no sin, took upon the sins of the world, When it was a curse to be hanging on a tree, yet when he took your curses, my child, it was uglier still. It was so ugly that I couldn't look at it. But that ugly thing, the Roman cross is the crux of the christian faith. Without that cross, there would have been no forgiveness of sins. My child, I am talking to you today only because of that cross. You ask me how I glorify my name through this, my child, I always use the foolish things of this world, the despised things, things that are not worthy to glorify my name."

So today if you have a despised thing, an ugly incident, give it to my Potters hand. He has been mending many specks and spots through the ages. I quote Corrie ten boom who said "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." So with the merriment and the joy this season brings, I am going to trust a father who once lost His son(Yes, to the Roman cross) and spend time with Him, knowing Him more.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fear of Death.

I have always wondered as to what will happen to me after I die. And I know for sure most of you have done so also. I have thought " Will I cease to exist?, Will I become a soul and roam around?, Will the angels come and take me to heaven, if so when do they come, right after I breathe my last or do they wait for sometime?" Now this is the worst of the series... " How will I know when to get out of my body? Will it be safe to get out and if I don't see the angels... then what??"

Oh, I can go on and on with these thoughts.. At one point and all this before Hannah passed away, I said ," Lord I don't want to be alone when I die, I want my husband to die with me." Creeping out of my dead body as a soul and looking around for angels or chariots or even worse asking them for a ride to heaven, was too much to even imagine doing together, let alone on my own!!"Travelling through death's door was horrifying for me, UNTIL Hannah passed away.

Hannah's home going opened my eyes to see something that most has not seen. The bible says that if you believe in your heart Jesus is Lord and confess that he died for your sins and was raised to life and if you give the Lordship of your life to Jesus Christ, you are saved and born again. For this person, when they die, they are with the Lord. That is when you take your last breath here, next thing, you are in the presence of Jesus. The apostle Paul says "To be absent from the body is to be with the Lord". How that happens I don't know, But I know for sure now that I don't have to crawl or creep out of my body and wait for the call " I can help the next guest in line....". This has become a reality to me now. It's an assurance that I don't have to lie in the box waiting.... I am not there in the casket when I die....What others see is just my outer covering. I might be walking on the heaven's street of gold when people walk up the aisle to get a glimpse of my outer shell!

Oh! what a joyous day that is! Fulfillment of all that I ever waited for. To set my face on my maker! I wouldn't trade that for anything.Nothing in the world can give me that kind of ecstasy.The bible says the earth and everything in it will pass away. But there is only one thing that does not pass, God. So that's where I want to be, after I finish what my Saviour has called me to do. This makes me ask " Oh death, where is your victory?" Death has lost its sting since Jesus died and defeated death. I don't fear dying anymore. If I die, that means my duty here is over. What ever means I die of. This confidence is on a personal level.

But I have people who ask me but what about a loved one dying, what about our children....? I don't assume to know why God calls some when they are 5 and why some others from their mothers womb yet some others in their 90's. Those are done according to Gods perfect wisdom and when it happens I can only say that God has helped them to finish their race. Their race is finished whether that fetus got to see the world outside or not. According to God's timing, Hannah lived a full life. I have had people send me cards that read " sympathising in the untimely death of your daughter" I wanted to scream when I saw it. I believed, her death was timely. I believed God had given her to me for 6 years for some reason only he knows. I believed she lived a full life. Knowing all these is one thing, and preparing for another event of such magnitude is another thing. By going through this trial, I have become more appreciative of God's sovereignty and wisdom. But that, in NO WAY makes me prepared for another one like this....When you say, you are afraid if something might happen to your child, I hear you. I am not prepared either...but there is a thin assurance within me that says " God you are good and what you do is good." Psalms 119:68 Even if no one sees any good in it, I see... by faith ( sometimes only by faith). I know he does not make any mistakes... I also know that we are called to be faithful...He is writing HIS story... He has been writing... since creation and all this while did we ever think that He is allowing us to write OUR story?? Oh, how mistaken we are!! We have shifted the focus to us. The stage is His and the lights should always be on him because it is His story and He uses everything for His glory. Now, did I know this when I gave my heart to Jesus, perhaps not. I only knew He loved me so much as to die for me and wanted me to give my allegiance to him. But will knowing this now, make me walk back? Never. As apostle Peter said, " The words of eternal life are with you master, where shall we go apart from you." So all those who are afraid of the death of a loved one, let me tell you when you crash against something you don't understand about, fall back on what you already know. Exchange what you don't know with what you know. And what you know is,

Lord you are good and what you do is good.!! Psalms 119:68

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fear for life

(This is the continuation of my previous blog entry. Please scroll down to read from the beginning)

When a child is born into this world, it is born into an already defined structured environment which expects him to prove himself and progress into more complex criteria and standards. When they are little we call it 'milestones'. We expect them to prove themselves through the milestones and progress rapidly through to fall into different settings which we may also call "standards of the world." The child struggles to keep up with these standards and in the process develops his egos.

As with those of us from India, the motto or the standard is often

Grow up and become a doctor

Marry have a son and daughter

Drive around in the best motor

Don't waste time playing soccer

but store away cash in the locker.

With every passing stage the child's goals or struggles are more or less to keep up with these standards. Ever been there? I have!

As a christian the sermons and teaching I heard bordered around these goals too. Oh, sometimes they were just polished to make it look as though it was "blessings from God" or " For the glory of God".Sadly, the worldly standards have crept into many churches and over the years many saints have been drifted away to thinking this is how a christian should be living ( the prosperity theory, for instance.) While the standards in itself are not wrong and I don't have any doubt on the abilities of my God I strongly disagree a life that is set apart to follow the standards of the world.

If you did not pass one of these goals/ milestones, you were less spiritual?? Your prayers were not powerful enough to unlock the blessing door of heaven?? Ever been there? I have!

With a grateful heart towards God let me say, I learnt it the hard way that the church of Jesus Christ was built on the blood of the martyrs, blood of the saints who were persecuted and killed for their faith. Their families orphaned and starved because they heard the call to preach this good news to many those who have not heard it. These persecuted Christians did not wake up in the morning and pray " lord bless me, bless my husband, bless my kids" and sing showers of blessings and claimed more blessings and fasted for their blessings and developed faith muscles to exercise blessings. ( Nothing wrong with praying for your needs, just don't let that become your only prayer.) But, they cried, " Lord, one more soul" that was their passion. They did not have the struggles to keep up with the milestones of the society. They did not have any standards other than the son of God who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Knowing this they offered their lives as a living sacrifice and built not their homes, but the kingdom of God. Enjoying the freedom in Christ, this is what I want to be doing. I don't want to get in the rat race of building my own kingdom. It is my prayer that the spirit of God would cause this desire to grow and use me for the glory of His name.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Knowing Jesus and after walking with Jesus for all these years and after much thinking, defining and re defining my goals, values and attitudes I have come to know that Hannah's home going has lessened my fears....namely The fear of life, The fear for life and the Fear of death.
I am set free, released and liberated from such fears at least theoretically. I still have to pass the practical tests in some areas.

Fear of life.

As a child I always worried about my parents, I worried what would happen to us if something happened to them. Growing up, I worried about the test scores and my friendship skills. I worried about who would love me and I worried about all the possible "what ifs" that could happen before the sunset everyday. As an adult I worried about my career and life. As a believer in Jesus Christ I was 'concerned' about the discrepancies I saw around me....There were always worries and concerns... With Hannah passing away, I have understood that life is so fleeting, this place is not my permanent home. I am here only to decide my eternity. Eternity is where I am going to spend my life. It is like you are travelling to a place and you are at the station to buy the ticket. You don't worry about what ever happens at the station, because the station is not where you are going to be, you are going to go to your home. You are at the station only for a while...Just like Jesus said, "In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. " I have understood that I am here only for a while and I will be boarding soon. While I am at the station let me call as many as I can, and tell them the right place to go and the way to go. Jesus said "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. Mathew 6:19,20." So as I live my life here, I am going to store away treasures in heaven. I am going to fill my heavenly account with credits. This I do by obeying my Lord as I have been set free from the fear of life.

I shall write again about Fear for life and Fear of death in the following posts. Stay tuned.