Over this series of Nuggets I have spent time collecting your questions and then seeking to address them in an attempt to find God’s perspective on pain, suffering and grief. In doing so, I have concentrated on finding answers to why we face pain, suffering and grief in this life. Some readers have commented on the fact that I have focused more on the negative side of the coin than on the positive. While that maybe true, I have sought to find answers that are real, honest and biblical. I have reached a point now where I would like to look behind the pain, suffering and grief to what God provides to counteract it.
Jesus told us the truth when He said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
I would like now to begin to focus on the other side of some key Bible passages to help us to gain a perspective of God’s view on pain, suffering and grief. That which releases Praise, Solace and Glory. Many of you have sent me messages, emails and comments concluding you just can’t see the positive side of this painful process of life. I find it interesting that I have reached an intersection in the Nuggets at the same time I have reached a crossroads in the Gems. Believe me that was not a planned thing, it just happened. But I have come to learn that nothing just happens in this life with God. He orchestrates the minutiae far more than we realise but at the same time limits Himself both to the Laws of the Universe He established and to the fact that He has given us free will to choose and He will not violate that.
Up until now I have shared with you a number of personal stories of various people who have given me permission to use their stories. Others have felt not to for various reasons. I thought I was finished with the stories but I was wrong. I have also found since embarking on this journey in the Nuggets that God has brought to my attention a number of painful, personal situations that Tania and I taken to our hearts in order to earnestly pray for those involved. I have also been involved in a number of heartbreakingly beautiful funerals. I thought I had finished the funeral stories but God had other plans. This week I think I have experienced the ultimate in Christian funerals. That comment is not meant to denigrate other funerals we have attended either in person or online. But I just have to share this week’s funeral with you with the permission of the family.
We had the privilege of attending the most amazing Christian funeral I have ever been part of this past week.
The Graduation of Grace Jasmine Adams to Eternal Life
Grace’s funeral was the epitome of what a Christian funeral of a-life-well-lived ought to be. She was remembered for her love and passion for God and then was danced and sung out with joy and thankfulness to the accompaniment of a family song and dance troupe. I wrote in her remembrance book that “I could imagine the hills singing and the trees clapping their hands.” I have shared with you in other stories the remarkable touches God has given to people going through trauma or suffering in ways that only He can. So too with Grace who sensed that her days were numbered and she was coming to the end of her life. Yet despite the incredible pain she experienced she was still thinking of others. She told her sister Poia and her daughter Esther that she would go to be with the LORD on American Independence Day. She did – July 5th here in New Zealand, but July 4th in the US. Grace had a strong connection with the US having experienced the Branch Davidian Cult under David Koresh in Waco Texas.
Grace’s book is available as an e-Book on Amazon and Kindle. “Hearken O Daughter” published by Bookbaby.
Both Grace and Poia wanted to study the one year Diploma, but Laidlaw Bible College had withdrawn the Diploma the year before Grace started study in February 2019. Little did Grace know what 2019 had in store for her and her family. It was a tumultuous year given all the things that happened. The final blow was Grace being diagnosed with endometrial cancer in November 2019. She successfully completed her first year of the Bachelor of Counselling despite all the things that happened in the family. She reluctantly agreed to a hysterectomy in mid December to get rid of most of the cancer cells, though they discovered cancer in her lymph nodes while removing the uterus. It was too risky to remove them at the time of discovery so they left them to deal with separately. These were what caused her later demise. To cap it all off (pun intended), Grace received her Diploma of Relational Studies just a matter of days before she graduated this life. The certificate was propped up on the drawers beside her bed in the hospice.
Her determination has been outstanding to firstly fight the cancer but then to accept that her battle was at an end and she would succumb. It wasn’t until we attended her funeral this week that we realised that Grace herself had planned her funeral with the help of her family. Her graduation to Glory was remarkable. We even had a delightful little moment when Grace called back from the Life of the Age to Come. (You will see this moment on the streamed video link below at the 1 Hour 38 Minutes and 15 Seconds mark.) The service was also filmed for TV and will be broadcast as the first episode of the 5th Series of The Casketeers on TV One. Don’t miss “the call back from heaven”.
Here is a link to Grace’s Funeral Service
There were many of God’s special touches on Grace’s graduation. Here is one poignant moment of solace straight from her sister:
On the morning before Grace passed away in the afternoon I was sitting with my son chatting outside her room on the balcony. Out of nowhere I saw this monarch butterfly appear, fluttering around the plants near the balcony. I thought it was strange to see one at this time of year. When Grace passed later that day at 3.41pm, I thanked the Lord for sending me that symbol of birthing – a transformational symbol of death to life, freedom & beauty.
Moments before Grace took her last breath I leaned over & whispered in her ear… ‘I release you Grace, go to your Saviour, He’s waiting for you. Go to your Maker, to the Good Shepherd.’ Grace drew a quick, final breath a second later…a tear rolled out slowly from her left eye. That did it. I was finally able to cry.Poia Alpha
What a special reminder that Grace has not ceased to exist; she lives on more vibrant and alive than ever she has been. She has passed from this life into LIFE with capital letters – The Life of the Age to Come, when God will restore life to be as He intended LIFE to be when He first created it. How appropriate that God sent a monarch butterfly out of season as a reminder of Grace’s transformation!
This Nugget has been totally impromptu, inspired by Grace’s Graduation Service, but shared with permission from her sister, Poia. It seemed more appropriate to share one last glimpse of God touching another life with His Grace by sharing this brief account of Grace Jasmine Adams’ life through her Graduation Service on July 5th. Next week we will begin our look behind the scenes at the Ways of God. In the following Nugget we will turn a corner and go through the crossroads and the intersections to look at the other side of God’s amazing Word. I wish to share with you, over the next few Nuggets before I close this series, some rather amazing hidden things in the Word of God which gives us a fresh new perspective on the Ways of God.