“In Your presence is fulness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).
She lived in a generation which did not enjoy the many sophistications we know today. Hard work supplemented faith in God, who was able to supply every need. Poverty and adversity were accepted as twin companions in the walk of life; their presence encouraged a sympathetic willingness to help neighbours in all sorts of circumstances. And this is where “Gran” shone. She was wise in the ways of life and death. She was the neighbourhood midwife at all hours of the night and day when babies decided to be born; she was also called at the time of death. She brought ten children of her own into the world, but the demands of such a busy life did not prevent “Gran” from being hospitable to the many Christians who knocked on her door. And nothing was allowed to hinder her from being at the Remembrance, or the prayer and gospel meetings.
At the age of 80 she survived a major operation; and after 90 it was evident that the end of life’s long journey had arrived. The family held a vigil. There were tears but no sorrow; there were regrets but no concern. All knew that “Gran” had been waiting to join the Lord Jesus in the heavenly mansions. This was one of the great realities of her Christian experience. The family saw vivid proof of this when she raised herself up, held out her arms, and cried joyfully, “I am coming Lord”. She fell back, face aglow. She had gone home as triumphant in death as she had been in life. In a moment she had passed from the room of death into the eternal dwellings of life and light.
What a fresh reminder that the Christian has nothing to fear in death! It is not the passing through fearful blackness of darkness, but only through the valley of the shadow. There is no shadow without light, and it is a great comfort to know that the Lord, who is our Light, accompanies us through the valley (Psalm 23:4). For the Christian there is no fear in death. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). That perfect love was shown in its fullness at Calvary when the eternal Lover of our souls sacrificed His perfect, spotless, holy life, to make possible the forgiveness of all our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). He has triumphed over sin, Satan, death, and the grave, and He is now living at God’s right hand (1 Peter 3:22). His victory is complete, and our rest and security are in our great Conqueror: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35,37).