Back when mum and dad were living in Shenzhen, I went out to visit them a few times. On one occasion we went up to Beijing. We got a taxi from the airport to our hotel. After a little while we began to think that the journey was taking far longer than it should. Then we began to look at the buildings outside. They seemed to be repeating themselves every so often. You realise it. The driver had taken advantage of the tourists in his car and was simply driving us round in circles running up the meter. The buildings looked the same because they were the same. It was quite an anxious time as we were in a strange city without enough language to get out of the situation, we were in. What should have been an enjoyable dream adventure turned into a nightmare.
On Friday last week I wrote remembering my grandma on her birthday and talked about how her faith shaped her life, giving her a great enjoyment of life but also peace and readiness for when death would come. Grandma could enjoy life now because she knew the journey she was on and where she was going. We can enjoy the journey if we know where we are going.
The same day as we were remembering my grandma, my mum received her home calling to go home and be with her Lord and Saviour. Mum’s had a tough few years with some health issues and she’d finally been able to have an operation which we all hoped would help her enjoy a better quality of life afterwards. Sadly, mum didn’t recover afterwards and spent 10 days on ICU. On Wednesday it became clear that mum wouldn’t be going back to her earthly home, God had a bigger and better plan and so we got together as a family to be with her for her last few days.
Mum knew where she was going. She knew that she had trusted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, many years ago back in Singapore just as her mum and dad had done. Mum knew that there were risks and challenges with having surgery but she was very clear that if things didn’t go well that she had nothing to lose or to fear. Mum would say with Paul:
“For me to live is Christ. To die is gain.”
Mum knew that she was going to heaven. She was ready to go when her Lord called her. This gave her a calm assurance. It didn’t mean that she wasn’t nervous at all, though I think it meant that her concerns were more for others, for her family than for herself. Mum had hope and that gave her peace.
But not only did mum know where she was going. She made sure that she knew where she was going too. Mum loved sharing her faith with others and so she made sure she too the opportunity to let the doctors and nurses looking after her know that she knew where she was going if anything went wrong. She also shared this assurance with friends and family.
In Mark 16:6 the angel messengers not only tell the women the good news about Jesus being risen and where he is. They give them an instruction, to not keep the good news to themselves but to “go and tell.”
Later, the risen Jesus would commission all of his disciples to “Go and make disciples” to “Go and tell.” We are not to keep the good news to ourselves. Make sure you know where you are going but also make sure that your friends and loved ones know too.