In the last two weeks I've learned of the passing of two precious people, Bobbie and Janet. They were both in their 60's, were each deeply loved and are now deeply missed. I knew Janet personally and learned of Bobbie from a mutual friend.
They were both women who loved the Lord and served Him to the end, but from the world's perspective their lives looked very different. If you were to google Janet, you'd find her obituary. If you did the same with Bobbie, you'd find pages of information - websites, books she'd authored, interviews and words from famous people. Some might be quick to say one of these women had more of an impact than the other, but let's think for a minute what God is saying.
Without a doubt, I believe as each precious sister entered heaven they heard the words we all long to hear, "Well done good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:23)
As I've reflected on the loss of Janet and Bobbie, God's brought much to mind, but for now I'll simply share two Scripture passages. First of all from Psalms 116:15, "Precious in the sight of Lord is the death of His faithful servants." The NLT says it like this, "The Lord cares deeply when His loved one dies." I remember reading these words 8 years ago when my grandma passed away and being encouraged that God cares too. This time we long to avoid, the season that brings pain, tears and grief is precious in God's eyes. It's a homecoming for the ones He loves and calls His own and it's a reminder for me of the hope we have in Him.
The other passage that comes to mind when I think of these two specific women comes from the Gospels...you can find it in Luke 21:1-4 and Mark 12:41-44. It's here we find the story of the widow's offering. Neither Bobbie or Janet were a widow, but from what I know they each gave all they had. And more importantly they lived the life God called them to and glorified Him in it.
Like I said from the outside their lives were very different...one gal speaking from the stage to many and the other serving the kids she babysat for 33 years. Now that their lives are done, they are both being missed by many, especially by those who knew them personally. Ones they'd loved, served and prayed for. They each had children and grandchildren of their own, but they also both impacted countless others and treated them as a Mother does.
As I've thought about the lives these women have lived I've been encouraged to think about mine. They each walked with humility, sought after God, spent time in His Word and prayer and followed where God led. They used the gifts they'd been given and trusted God in the good and the bad. They shared their faith and praised God in the storm. They were wives, moms, friends and women who made a difference and glorified God. They were women who served an audience of One, stood before Him and are now with Him.
My heart hurts as I think about not seeing Janet or hearing her wise, encouraging words. And I sympathize with those who will miss Bobbie in a similar way. But I'm also grateful for my connection with them and for the reminder to be intentional with the life I've been given. I've found myself asking God to help me remember my days are numbered as well and praying that He will help me give all I have just like Janet and Bobbie did.
Friend, what you and I have to give looks very different, but I pray our effort and attitude is similar. Knowing, if that's the case, the effect will be the same God will be glorified in our lives and others will be blessed as we live out the legacy we one day will leave.