Auntie Norma was my aunt’s sister-in-law. Although not directly related to me, her walk with Jesus impacted me in the very early years of my journey with Christ. She passed away this past week, and I know she is with Jesus. The memories I have of her are vivid and go back to my high school days: she was the stern, no nonsense vice principal who was loved and respected. She was a cancer survivor. While I was in high school, I remember that time when she came to school baldheaded, no wig, and not ashamed. She was a woman who believed in and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ to see her through tough times. She knew the Lord as faithful, as healer, and as provider. He was her ROCK.
When I became a Believer, she was one of the first people I called. This was a new journey for me because, although I had gone to Sunday school and went to church on and off, this was the first time—as an adult—that I understood that I needed a relationship with Christ. Auntie Norma fully understood that and encouraged me. I only saw her a couple of times, since I lived away; but each time we spoke and prayed together, I walked away encouraged and re-charged.
I remember telling her that I met the man who would be my husband, and I remember when they met for the first time. She prayed for us at our wedding. I have not seen her in over 3 years; but I am grateful that, when I had a chance, I told her thank you. She gave me the courage to stand amongst family members who thought that, as a new Christian, I was a fanatic or part of some fad. She stood with me the first time I prayed for my family while standing in their midst. She modeled for me faith when I had never really seen it.
So, even though I did not see her much and did not talk to her much, I will never forget her. I will never forget how, in the few instances, she taught me to trust God no matter what, even when life gets dark and does not look the way you would have hoped. The news of her passing this week made me sad but, more so, made me thankful for her life. Joey and I thanked the Lord for her and who she was.
As I reflect on Auntie Norma and her legacy, a verse from my quiet time challenges me, Psalm 78:39. Psalm 78 concerns the waywardness of the Israelites. The Psalmist reminds them that they should tell future generations of the goodness of God and that they should put their confidence in Him. He recounts how the children of Israel turned their backs on God and no longer trusted or believed Him. After all He did for them (rescuing them, delivering them) and after all the ways He showed Himself to be God (parting the Red Sea, taking them out of Egypt, providing for them, leading them by the cloud in the day and the fire at night), they doubted Him. They looked to the gods of the nations and fell prey to their own desires. It was only when God’s anger was kindled against them that they remembered His goodness and faithfulness and experienced His mercy.
In verse 39, the Psalmist says, “Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and does not return.”
Like smoke out of a chimney or morning dew on the grass, life is fleeting. It goes like the blink of an eye. We are not promised tomorrow, not even the next minute. We are not here forever. We are here…then we are not.
So, with the time we are given…
o What legacy will we leave?
o Will we be people who truly follow Jesus Christ?
o Will we walk in obedience to His Word?
o Will we be salt and light before a crumbling world?
o Will we live by His truth or our own?
o Will we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, and strength?
o Will we love our neighbors as ourselves?
o As members of the church, will we serve and be Kingdom-minded?
o Will we pray for our leaders?
o Will we pray for the lost?
o Will we pray for family and friends and those the Lord brings in our path? Will we model Christ?
o Will we be selfish, self-centered, rebellious, not caring if we please our Heavenly Father?
o Will we care more about our feelings and how we feel rather than the truth?
o Will we believe in our own “truth” rather than the Word of God?
Without a doubt, I know Auntie Norma’s life touched many people. She was a follower of Jesus Christ who was an educator, and she was not ashamed of the Gospel! She taught; she discipled; she preached; and she lived. From what my cousins have told me, her last days were challenging as she battled her illness. Yet, I have no doubt that she still knew her Lord as FAITHFUL. She used her time well; I am sure of her legacy.
“So teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.”
Remember and do not forget: we are only here for a time. We are and will be held accountable to God for the lives we lead. We will stand before Him. What will you say? What will I say?
What will He say?
“For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passes and does not return.”