The future. We could not go to that place for long in our minds. A few seconds here and there was all we could manage. The future was too foggy to see past what was just in front of us at the moment. Which was, of course, the real thoughts and activities that should still be part of our “real” world. The world in which the phone would ring and it would be Russell. “Hey mom! What’s up?”

“I’m going to start dinner in a few minutes. What are you up to this evening?”  “I’m umpiring two baseball games later. What are you fixing for dinner?”  “Well, we thought we’d throw some pork chops on the grill.”  “Mmmm! Sounds good.” (pause) “You got enough for a hungry boy?”  I immediately had the biggest grin on my face! My heart grew so happy. He wanted to come over! I thought, “I’ll mess with him for a minute.” “I might have a couple extra pieces of meat. Whose so hungry? Do I know him?”   “You might have met him once or twice. Nice dude.” He never missed a step. He could fall into my silly games and play right along.  “Well, if you say he is I’ll trust you. Tell him not to be late.”

“I think he said he was already on his way. He should be there any minute.” And with that Russell opened the front door and came barreling up the stairs with that wonderful, happy smile. I couldn’t get to him fast enough. “Hey funny man. I’m so happy you are here. I love you.” I reached up to hug him. Time shared with him was never taken for granted.

“How are the kids and Shawna? What are they up to tonight?”  “Tylee has dance practice and Shawna was taking Blake to get him some ice cream. Hey, Mom, did you hear about……” The conversation carried right over through dinner.

I’m still waiting for the phone to ring.   “Hi Nana! What are you doing?”  “Well hi there Tylee bug! I’m just reading a book. What are you doing?”

“Nana, why’d you call me bug? I’m not a bug.”  She has her father’s sense of humor. Okay, I’ll play along. “Because, when you born you looked so cute all bundled up in that little blanket. You looked like a little bug in a rug. So, you’re my lady bug!”

I’d hear a little giggle. “Nana, can I come over to your house?”  “Yes! Of course! When do you want to come?”  “My mommy has to go get groceries and I don’t want to go.”  “Sure, you can come to my house to play. Are you on your way?”  “Yep. In a couple minutes. Nana? Can we play with the matching game?”   “I’ll go get it out of the closet and have it already for us to play.”  “Okay. Bye, Nana!”  “Bye Ladybug. See you in a minute.”

Why isn’t the phone ringing?

I want that doorbell to ring and see Tylee, Shawna, and Russell, with Blake in his arms come up the stairs. Russell would set Blake down and he looked around the room. “Well, hi everybody! I’m so glad you came over.” I walk over to little Blake and get down on my knees for a hug. His little arms come up and wrap around my neck. I just have to kiss those little, soft, chubby cheeks! Blake steps back and looks around the room again.

He stretches his little arms out, tips his head to one side, looks up at me with those big brown eyes and says one word. “Papa?” Nothing gets to my happy heart more than that darling little boy, He looks around the room for Papa. He loves his Papa. All of a sudden, a voice is heard on the steps behind them. “WHOSE COMING IN MY HOUSE!” Tylee screams and says, “Papa! You scared me!”

“Come over here and give me a kiss!” Tylee is all worked up now. She laughs and goes running to the kitchen to hide. Blake just turns around, looks at Papa with widened eyes, and holds his little arms out to him.

I reach over and give Shawna a big hug. “Wow! You look so pretty. You going out on a hot date with a tall, dark, handsome man?” She smiles. “Thank you for watching the kids tonight. We won’t be too late.” I love her soft smile. She is always so grateful when we take the kids so she and Russell can have a well, deserved night out.

My thoughts suddenly become hazy. I can’t do this! I can’t think of my future without my loved ones in it! It isn’t right. We shouldn’t be here, in a world that no longer has Russell, Shawna, Tylee and Blake in it! A fog of despair closes in.

Still in the arms of my Jesus I tell Him I need Him to reassure me and give me courage to face this uncertain and very frightening future.

So, I prayed Psalm 119:49-50; “O my Jesus, Remember the word to your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction. For Your word has given me life. Amen.

The words in Scripture are not just words! They are life. They are alive. They are medicine to the hurting, the sick, the lonely, the distraught, the lost, and the hopeless.

I didn’t come to understand this overnight. It is a process. A journey. Reading God’s Word reveals His love for us and what He desires for us. It tells us that when we are lost, Jesus will find us. When we are lonely, Jesus is there. When we are afraid, Jesus tells us “fear not.” When we are sick, Jesus is our great Physician. When we are sad, Jesus gives us comfort. I came to know this is true through experience all these years. I came to know TRUTH. I believe what His Word says is true. It’s a KNOWING deep in my heart and soul. It isn’t a feeling you get. It’s just a quiet KNOWING.

I know that Hebrews 4:12 is an important truth to know because it tells us that God’s Word is alive and powerful. God’s Word isn’t “just a good book” to read and when you’re finished with it, add it to the bookshelf with all the other “good books” we’ve read. God’s Word is a source of Life, Comfort, Peace, Knowledge, and Love. Most importantly, God’s Word is alive! That’s why I read it every day! I read it prayerfully and meditatively. God’s Word gives me peace when I’m frightened. It gives me assurance when I’m confused. Healing when I’m heartbroken and hope for the future.

“For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow It exposes our inner most thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)

I can face the future without them. It breaks my heart whenever I think about it. BUT, like the song says, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone. And I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.