January 4, 2016 marks three full years since I held my son in my arms. In many ways it seems impossible to be that long ago. In other ways I am so far removed from the person I was three years ago it seems like a lifetime ago.
I have wrestled with what to do for this day. The first year I did this:
Last year I did this:
I was feeling pressure to do something big to honor my son and mark the day he met Jesus. Even tonight, as I washed dishes, I thought about taking the family out to dinner. But the more I thought the more I lingered on one simple thing.
I will honor Azaiah and Jesus by doing one simple thing- by living. I will not let the cords of grief swallow me. I will live under the protective promise of the resurrection of Jesus. He lives. Azaiah lives. I will live.
I will live by getting out of bed in the morning. I will live by fixing breakfast for my children. I will live by cleaning house, running errands and doing laundry. I will not let death rob me of one more moment of my life. Tomorrow I live.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have diedwill rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.
1 Thes. 4:13-18
Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, “Engage in business until I come.”