If you have read my previous post, “May the Words of My Mouth”, then you know we have spent the last 8 weeks in and out of the hospital with my wonderful father-in-law, who has end stage renal failure. This week he personally made the decision to stop the painful treatment that was keeping him alive. Even though this has been a long process, it has been an incredible time of blessing. I know that comment is puzzling to many, but because he has a personal relationship with Christ, he has endured this part of his journey with unbelievable grace.
Eldon and I have a special bond for several reasons. I was the first daughter he had–Eldon and Zeldean had four boys and Doug and I were the first to get married. Eldon has loved me just as he would have his own daughter, and has always treated me in a way that made me feel special. To expel any doubt, I’m sure he felt the same about all of his daughters-in-law. During these weeks of uncertainty, and especially these last days, he has spoken to each of his children and grandchildren words of encouragement and wisdom. It was a privilege and a gift for me to be able to verbalize to Him exactly how he has blessed me personally. We have watched him as he was being attended to by countless doctors and nurses, turn the conversation from himself to the one serving him; he would often share a witness of his Saviour and would speak words of encouragement and blessing to them.
We also shared the same birthday, and through the years it became a tradition for me to give him a puzzle for our birthday. He would put the puzzle together and then glue it for me to preserve. Many family holidays you would find children and grandchildren around the card table helping grandpa with his puzzle.
Most rooms in my house have one of grandpa’s puzzles. I picked out (not totally unselfish of me!) puzzles that I would want for my home or for one of my children. I have lots of memories that I will cherish, but the fact that I have something tangible that will remind me of him often makes me smile. This one is one of the last ones he did for me, and I picked it because of the Munton’s long standing love for the St. Louis Cardinals.
God’s hand has been evident in the many pieces of the Munton family puzzle, and as the final piece is being laid in grandpa’s life we can see the beautiful picture that God created him to be.
Isaiah 55:8-13 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways. For as heaven is higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth, and making it germinate and sprot, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My Word that comes from My Mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do. You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up; it will make a name for the Lord as an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.”
We do TRUST and BELIEVE that HIS ways are perfect…our dad/grandpa is in the Father’s hands and we are grateful that He has accomplished His perfect will in this life that has prospered in what God sent him to do. Our Father is allowing him to indeed, “go out with joy and be peacefully guided…” When I read these verses, I can’t help see the Munton family tree that used to be painted on a wall of their home. Could it have been a cypress? Regardless, the four boys he and mom have raised are now grown men serving the Lord, and all of their 14 grandchildren have committed their lives to follow Christ as well.
When I say that this time has been a blessing, perhaps even the unbeliever can see how this is possible when a life is well lived and a family is committed to the Lord and to each other. There are sure to be many more tears, but it is all tempered with a joy and peace that passes understanding.
Thanks for allowing me to share our journey. It has been hard, the tears will continue, but joy abounds.
“God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim your wonderful works. Even when I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me. Then I will proclaim Your power to another generation, Your strength to all who are to come. Your righteousness reaches heaven, God, You who have done great things; God, who is like you?…Therefore, with a lute I will praise you for Your faithfulness, my God; I will sing to You with a harp Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You, because You have redeemed me.” Psalm 71:17-23
“What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see! I will look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace. When he takes me by the hand and leads me to the promised land, what a day, a glorious day that shall be!”. Glorious day for Grandpa! Took Jesus’ hand peacefully at 11:30 last night. Thanks to so many of you for your love and prayers.
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Great Post! I see you’ve added pictures of the puzzels. This was awesome!
Thanks, Denise! We are in his final hours now…