Last Friday evening I got a phone call that a dear friend and former co-worker, Maria, had passed away suddenly. We were all stunned. Maria was the kind of person who was always full of life, always carried joy with her, always had a smile. It was (and still is) hard to wrap our minds around the thought that she has gone.
On my desk at work is a calendar that has a quote for each day. Here is the quote from last Friday:
The shoes matched her dress perfectly, and she smiled, knowing God had put her day together with the same attention to detail.
When I first read this I thought, wow- it’s about an outfit. Such a tragic thing- a loss of a friend, and my calendar is about an outfit. After a moment, however, the message soaked in and I realized, “Yes!” Every detail of Maria’s day last Friday had been carefully orchestrated by her Heavenly Father. From the moment she woke up that morning, to the instant she closed her eyes in death to open her eyes in Heaven- He had it all planned. And though it seemed so shocking and unexpected to us, it certainly didn’t take Him by surprise.
There is a verse of Scripture in Psalm 139 that says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book….” God, the Designer and Author of our lives, knows our every moment. He oversees our every step. He has a beautifully choreographed plan for each one of us. None of us can know the exact moment that we will step into eternity, but He knows.
For those of us on this side of Heaven, it is up to us to trust His plan. It’s a plan that was designed in the heart of a loving Father. The God Who created us for His glory, the God who desires to fellowship with us for all eternity, has overlooked not a single detail of a single moment of our lives.
I will miss Maria. She affected every life she touched and she left behind a precious legacy for her family and friends. Everyone knew her as a person of great joy despite the difficulties that she faced in her life. She wasn’t joyful because she had the greatest of circumstances every day. Her joy sprang from a heart that was full of gratitude for all that the Lord had done for her.
In her death, just as in her life, she has reminded all of us that no matter how deep the loss, remember you are loved deeply by a good and holy God who has always had your life all worked out. All we have to do is trust.