We didn't do anything special today -- not in relation to the anniversary that September 27th marks, anyway. Juanita went to a piano teachers' conference in Red Deer. I took the day off work to use up my last holiday day before the end of September (a new holiday schedule begins in October). Petra and Anne did their school work and routine Friday activities. Josh is in Toronto at school for his fourth year at Toronto Baptist Seminary, though he took the train to Gatineau for a visit this weekend.
For all of us, though, this sober anniversary is very present. We miss Emily. We are all doing well, by God's grace. We are thankful for the many good things in our lives and we are content. We don't walk around in a fog of grief -- not at all. However, there are reminders - like anniversaries - that get us all thinking. There is a sorrow that returns. Emily should be here, though we trust God that He is working out the best for all of us.
I am reminded today that this world is not our home. There is sin and evil in the world, yet there are glimpses of future glory here and now. God is good. He has proven that to us more than anyone could anticipate or demand. How? By intervening in this sin-soaked world by coming to redeem us. More than that, Christ came to defeat death and Satan. He has already done that by His life, death and resurrection. We have a Sure Hope that Christ will return to make all things new. All will be well.
One of the lessons that I have learned in the last five years is that there are a lot of suffering people out there. There are many reasons: relationship difficulties; loneliness, disease; depression and other mental illnesses; addictions; abuse and the list goes on and on. Even people with the best lives get old, sick and die. We can't hold on too tightly here.
We can't ignore evil and trouble in the world, yet we must not despair. We must look up. We must look to Christ's sinless, righteous life, His atoning death and bodily resurrection. If you don't know what this all means, please ask! Ask God to teach you, ask a Christian that you know to explain this to you. This is where true, everlasting life is found. You can't do an end-run around suffering and evil, but you can be reconciled to God and find forgiveness and eternal life in Christ.
It is such a gift to be given eyes to see - to be granted the "upward call" in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). This is our comfort. Jesus is our life, our hope, our all.