One Less Light

None of us know when we will flicker our last light on this side of heaven. Some of our loved ones sense they are getting close to the last glimmer of light because of age or sickness. Sadly, none of us expected to see our sister, Debbie Simenson, shine her light only once more, on Wednesday, before entering heaven. Debbie was in church with us for our adult Bible study, along with most of her family. She made some great comments about how God was revealing Himself in her life, and helping her overcome battles and struggles we all face. Debbie had returned home from the hospital after another bout of pneumonia and was beginning to feel better. I received the news of her passing from Mark early on Thursday morning and was, as all of us are, heartbroken. She was doing her best to minister to a multitude of family and friends even, as she was growing in her own faith.

My next statement is not meant to be critical of anyone who does not attend Wednesday service; instead, it’s a praise observation of Debbie’s determination to be with other believers, so she could be encouraged and fed by the Word of God. Knowing she had recently left the hospital and was still recovering from a challenging health issue, I was impressed by her determination to pursue Jesus. I pray each of you will experience the encouragement that comes from watching others grow in their faith. Most of us are only “together “ during Sunday worship services; these 52 touch-points in a year are life changing, so you don’t want to miss what God is doing at Hawthorne Assembly. Debbie is with Jesus, but the front row will never be the same. This article is not meant to bring up feelings of sorrow and sadness, or to be a painful reminder to her family now mourning her loss. Rather it is a proclamation that her life was so special and we will miss Debbie! It is a reminder that our lives are like a vapor, we are here only for a short time. The scriptures to consider are: Psalm 144: “O Lord, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them? For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow.” And James 4:14 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”

Debbie’s life was too short on this side of eternity, yet we can trust the Lord’s goodness. We rest in the hope of her salvation and God‘s ultimate purpose for each believer’s lifespan. The second week of Advent is here, one light on our sanctuary Christmas tree will be extinguished in honor of Debbie’s life. Our church family needs to support the Simensons during this time of sorrow and transition. One way to accomplish this is to shine your light even brighter, knowing there is one less light on our front row.

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