It Sounds Like God To Me

© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved



                                      21

                             The Grief Of Death


                              By Phil Scovell






          My father died  unexpectedly when I was eleven years of age.  One
     year later, to the exact  date, I came home from the  hospital after a
     dozen operations on  my retinas.  I had been  pronounced totally blind
     and told I would never see again.
          I well remember that day and not because of my blindness.  It was
     late afternoon when we left the hospital  so mom and I stopped to pick
     up some  hamburgers as we began the 270 mile  trip back to Omaha where
     we lived.  It was  November 13, 1964.  My father had  died exactly one
     year ago.  You could feel  the sadness and the coldness and  the grief
     hanging  in the air in  the car as we drove  through the darkness that
     night.
          Over the next few weeks and  months, my younger sister, Ruth, who
     was seven years old at  the time, and my mom, became  my best friends.
     The hardest  part soon became  leaving and going  to a school  for the
     blind 45 miles away and only coming home on weekends.  Yet, as I said,
     Ruth and mom  became my best  friends.  Sure,  I developed many  other
     friends over  the years but I will never forget what my mom and sister
     did for me in those early days of my blindness.
          I  started with  this  small  amount  of  background  information
     because when my mother died  less than a year  from when I wrote  this
     article, I  felt little  sense of  grief.  Oh,  sure, I  cried at  the
     funeral as hard as anyone and  I had to be one of the  speakers at the
     service, too.  Yes, I have cried many times since my  mother died some
     10 months ago now.  Yes, I will cry often throughout my life just as I
     have  concerning  the  death of  my  father.   It  isn't  abnormal but
     sometimes it  is useful  in finding areas  of woundedness  which needs
     healing.  If there are  indeed areas of healing to be done, your grief
     very easily becomes abnormal and never  goes away until you are healed
     by the Lord.
          Mom  had her  first stroke about  7 years  before she died.   She
     recovered probably  about 90  percent of her  capacity but it  was not
     quite the same thereafter.  It seemed to me that I somehow realized at
     that time of my life that my mother, my best friend as a child, wasn't
     going to be  around forever and I said  my goodbyes to her  then in my
     heart.  Yet, as I said, I cried, and cried hard, when she died and for
     the days surrounding her funeral.
          recently,  one  of  our  old  basset  hounds  developed  a  large
     cancerous tumor in  his throat.  You  could feel it from  the outside.
     He was given pain medication and seemed to be doing  well but soon the
     tumor grew so  large, it  made it  difficult for him  to even  swallow
     normally.  It was  time to put him to sleep  because it was inoperable
     and he was beginning to suffer.
          Not wishing to take him to be put to sleep in an office, we  paid
     for a vet to come to our home.  I said my goodbyes to Barney, as I pet
     him for a little while, and walking out on to our deck and closing the
     door behind me, I sat down on the porch swing.  I didn't want to be in
     the room when he went to sleep.
          I cried that  Sunday afternoon off and on for hours.  I knew some
     of it was due to my sorrow for my wife because she really loved Barney
     and it was very hard on her.  I also knew there was something stirring
     in my  emotions that led to another event in my life but no matter how
     much I prayed, I could not get a  handle on the event.  I figured when
     the time  came, the Lord  would let  me know and  I stopped  trying to
     figure it out on my own.
          Three days later, I  thought of Barney once again, as  I had been
     each day since his death, and felt tears creep  into the corners of my
     eyes.  He had been a good dog  and the first basset hound we ever had.
     Suddenly, I realized the pain was deep inside of me and too deep to be
     the emotions  related to  the death  of a  pet.   I immediately  said,
     "Lord, where does this pain take me?"   I figured I would end up at my
     dad's death, which I  often do when something needs healing,  or at my
     days of going blind in the hospital, which also often comes up when  I
     need healing.   This  is due to  the amount  of trauma  experienced in
     these two events and I am not completely healed of all the woundedness
     in these two major events of my life as of yet.  This time, however, I
     was surprised to discover I ended up at my mother's death.
          At the moment I  realized I was in  the very recent memory of  my
     mother's  death, I knew  what was wrong  on the surface.   I also knew
     that could not be the real problem.  Let me explain what  I am talking
     about.
          For probably the last two months of her life, my mother could not
     walk, even across  the room, without  help.  When we  took her to  the
     doctor,  they felt one  of her legs  should be removed  below the knee
     because there  was  just  no  circulation.   It  had  to  be  removed,
     therefore,  so she  was  placed into  the hospital  and  it was  done.
     Following the surgery, mom actually did very well, we all thought, but
     suddenly she had a massive stroke and all communications with  her was
     lost.   She was moved to a hospice where  she died several days later;
     never speaking to us again.
          A  small bit of  some type  of anger grew  inside of  me, to some
     degree, and sadden  me in other ways.   I could not  determine what it
     was or  why.  However, every time  I thought of mom, I  thought of her
     dying with only one leg.  That  in itself seemed irrational to me so I
     knew that was not the real cause of  my pain.  Yet it had something to
     do with it or did it.
          When the Lord  led me back  to those recent memories  relating to
     mom's  last hospitalization, The Holy Spirit quietly spoke to me in my
     thoughts and said, "How did you feel about your mother's death?"
          I said, "I felt sad, of course."
          "What else did you feel?" He prompted.
          "I felt  alone and I knew I would miss her but I was ready for it
     I think."
          "What else did you feel?" He prompted once again.
          "I felt like we should have done something."
          "Something about what?"
          "Something about them removing her leg."
          "What should you have done?"
          "We should have told them no."
          "And why?"
          "Because, we knew she was going to  die and we shouldn't have put
     her through such a horrible thing."
          "So what was wrong?" the Holy Spirit said.
          "We should have taken charge."
          "We?  Don't you mean something else?" He questioned.
          I said, "Yes, I should have taken charge."
          I  knew  then   what  my  problem  was.     I  felt  a   personal
     responsibility at  the time to  have said, no, we  aren't removing her
     leg.  Why did I think I should have taken charge?  Because I must have
     known in my heart  that mom wasn't going to  make it through this  one
     this time and she was going to go home to be with the Lord.  Yet I did
     nothing.  Guilt was the result.
          Recognizing the  real truth of  what was bothering me  and seeing
     the  quiet guilt  that  lay dormant  until  the death  of  one of  our
     favorite dogs stirred up the emotions  relating to that guilt, I  said
     to the Lord, "Then what is your truth about this situation?"
          The Lord  said, "You think  you should have taken  charge to help
     your mother but you were not ever  in charge of that situation because
     I was."
          I  was instantly  released  from  the guilt.    All  I have  just
     described took about one minute of prayer time.
          There are some things  we need to talk about  now concerning this
     testimony.
          1.  There was no sin involved at any time; not before, during, or
     after.
          2.   The  feeling of  guilt  was apart  of the  grief  but wasn't
     generated by sins committed.
          3.   Even  this natural  sense  of guilt  generated by  a  normal
     grieving  process, would eventually have created an atmosphere whereby
     the enemy could  have gained a  foothold in my life.   Why?   Read the
     next point for that answer.
          4.  The  guilt was a small  implanted demonic lie.   I know  this
     because what  I believed was not even true.   If something isn't true,
     what is it?
          5.  Jesus exposed  the lie.  He showed  me that I wanted to  take
     charge  of the situation but informed me  He had been in charge of the
     situation from the beginning.  Thus, my guilt was invalid, that is, it
     was based upon a lie or false information at the time.
          6.  I was healed.  The Lord Jesus spoke to  the problem, exposing
     it for what it  was, and then took the burden off of  me and placed it
     upon Himself.  It instantly released me.  I actually felt this process
     occur at the moment He spoke His Words of truth to me.
                                  Final Remarks
          Does this mean I no longer will miss my mother?  No, it does  not
     mean that.  It  means that the enemy  tried to implant a small  little
     bit of falsehood, or what  the Bible calls a lie, into an  event in my
     life.   Why would he do this?  So  he could use it later against me at
     another time where  it could do the  most damage.  Without  the Lord's
     help, I never would have seen the truth about my feelings  relating to
     my mother's death.
          "What about your dog, Barney.   Was that of God?
          Here is what you really are asking.   Did the Lord take your  dog
     to teach  you something?   the  answer is,  no.   Barney  died due  to
     natural causes over  which we had no  control.  Did the  Lord use this
     situation to  bring  about more  healing in  my life?    Yes, He  most
     certainly did.  The  enemy, however, also tried using it.  He tried to
     use my sorrow and tap into the little lie he had placed in my thinking
     to create even  more grief and  confusion in my  life.  Why  would the
     enemy do that?  Because he tries to keep us from walking  close to God
     and from keeping Jesus from being other than the Lord of our life.
          What  about the grief you carry?   Is it really  about a pet or a
     friend or a mate or a relative who has passed away or is it about pain
     buried deep  within you somewhere?   Are you  afraid to let  Jesus the
     Healer see that pain?  Is your  Christian pride getting in the way  or
     are  you just being  deceived by the  enemy?  It  is time  to hear the
     truth from  the True Lord  Jesus Christ and be  healed.  You  can keep
     carrying the  burden of grief all you want but  you will soon learn it
     only  becomes heavier and heavier as the  years go by.  Jesus died and
     was resurrected to set you free.