LOSS OF A LOVED ONE
(Isa 6:1) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord . . .
This Mother's Day is going to be tough. Only six weeks ago Cheryl's mom passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. We are so glad she knew the Lord and is now in heaven. But we miss her terribly. The permanence of separation is dawning upon us day by day. And with Mother's Day this week there are thoughts and feelings we've never had to face before. Mom's not here. No card to buy. No gift to purchase. A Mother's Day without a mother. Just loving memories behind and a looking forward to a grand reunion ahead. But in-between a gap that right now feels like a hole.
King Uzziah was a good king that brought Judah renewed prosperity and spiritual vitality. His long reign of fifty-two years was one of the greatest since the time of Solomon. He was a strong and able ruler whose fame spread far and wide. Here's a scripture that summarizes the basis for his success: (2 Chr 26:4-5) And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord . . . He sought God in the days of Zechariah . . . and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.
But then Uzziah died. Who would lead the nation now? Who could compare with this great king? How could the nation survive without his leadership? It wouldn't be the same. It looks like even Isaiah got caught up in all these questions and perplexities. After all, it's easier to be a prophet under a godly monarch than an apostate one.
But in the year that king Uzziah died Isaiah had a vision of the Lord. He was high and lifted up and the angels were crying "holy, holy, holy." There was a shaking in the room and the house was filled with smoke. Isaiah saw himself as a sinful man who needed cleansing. God purged his sinful lips, so he could speak God's words to the people. He was now ready to be sent by the Lord (Isa 6:1-8).
Isaiah found out something we all have to find out after the loss of a loved one. When that loved one steps out . . . the Lord steps in! Jesus fills that gap left by the one you are missing. When Uzziah died that's when Isaiah saw the Lord. And when that loved one passes our eyes now land on that One who not only sits on the throne of heaven but also on the throne of one's heart. His presence fills that gaping hole. (Eph 1:23) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Psa 73:25) Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. What a friend we have in Jesus!
Every year there are people in our church who have lost a loved one. And how often I have heard about how tough it is when the holidays pass by. But in that valley of the shadow of death the Lord is with us . . . His rod and His staff comfort us!