Words of Hope: Days of Plenty

My middle daughter, Ariana, is playing at the professional summer theatre in Coeur d’ Alene in Little Women the Musical. Ariana’s character Beth dies from Scarlet Fever, and the mother sings a song after her death that says,  

I never dreamed of this sorrow, 

I never thought I’d have reason to lament, 

I hoped I’d never know heartbreak, 

How I wish I could change the way things went! 

I wanted nothing but goodness, 

I wanted Days of Plenty.  

Ari’s part in the show left our entire family sobbing. Shann had to mentally shut down the tears, or he thought he would lose it in the theatre with loud wailing. This year of sorrow with the loss of my Dad has been like this song for me. I loved our family times. I miss the times around the table. I miss my Dad’s presence at the theatre. He and Mom went to every show my girls were in. He went to the musical Les Misérables at least 20 times when my oldest played Cossette.  

I see now that Dad eventually realized when he got cancer, he had a choice to make—the choice to live with hope and joy even with cancer. Dad went through a season of believing God would make him cancer free. This was Dad’s ultimate Days of Plenty—no cancer, no medicine, no illness, no weight gain, no fatigue, and no shots. But Dad had to learn to find Days of Plenty even with all these things. This is my job now—to find Days of Plenty in the reality of death, separation, and loss. I have been more afraid for the lives of my children after Dad’s death—this needs to change. This sorrow-free life is not reality and not what God has promised, but instead, He has promised to give us hope—the blessed hope that we can live in Days of Plenty knowing I will see Dad again. We all will be reunited in joy.  

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” – I Thessalonians. 4:13-18