My family has been through a very difficult season in our lives. In October my husband’s sister died. About two weeks ago his brother’s wife died. Both are gone too soon. Both left a lasting impression on many lives.
My sister-in-law died unexpectedly and leaves behind her grieving husband and three beautiful children. In the shock and tragedy of her untimely death, I saw an outpouring of love from family, friends and neighbors. All came together to comfort one another through words, hugs, meals and the remembrance of many good memories.
The funeral was the saddest one I have ever attended. But it was also a emblem of a town showing love for one who either directly or indirectly affected many lives.
Her youngest sister spoke at the service about a fun-loving, caring person who touched her life by the way that she lived so enthusiastically. She felt like she was a combination of her two sisters. One sister had always been nurturer and the other inspired her to live life to the fullest. Her fun-loving attitude was going to be incredibly missed.
As I studied my Bible this morning I compared the story to our lives. It was the story of the battle between Israel and the Amalekites. The Israelites were in desperate need of help. The Amalekites were skilled warriors and the children of Israel were experienced in making bricks, not war.
Moses turned to God for help. He climbed a hilltop overlooking the battle below. Moses raised his hands and his staff. As long as his hands were lifted to God the Israelites were winning. When his arms grew heavy and he dropped them to his side, the Amalekites had the advantage. Aaron and Hur saw Moses struggling and sat on either side of him for support.
“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.” Exodus 17:11 NIV
When life’s difficult circumstances arise, we need to seek the Lord first. We often try to tackle the problem by our self and rely on our own strength. Sometimes we make our own judgment of the situation and decide that it is hopeless. But God is available to us all.
Think about your own battles in life. You might feel like you are dealing with an overwhelming situation and see no way that good could come from your struggles. When life gives you heartache, health problems or anything that causes stress and confusion, there is always hope.
I also noticed in this story that Moses needed the help of his friends. I think it is important to have a support system that will help you through those difficult trials that we all face. Finding support from people who are dealing with the issues of Interstitial Cystitis and others similar health problems has been a great source of strength for me.
I will never forget what my one of my other sisters-in-law said at the funeral. She hugged me and said “I love you.” She said she was thinking after the funeral of our first loved one that all of us sister-in-laws should get together with our mother-in-law and go out for coffee or something. It is important to tell the people in your life that you love them. You never know what will happen and one of your loved ones may be gone too soon just like what our family has recently experienced.
From these painful difficulties I have been reminded look to the Lord for strength and guidance. I have also thought about how important it is to reach out to family and friends for support and remember to tell loved ones how you feel about them before it is too late.
In Loving Memory of
Barbara Jo “BJ” Campbell Leopard
December 2, 1963 – November 11, 2014