In the midst of life we are in death...

Julieandabigail_2(by David) Such are the initial words of the commital service from Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer...

Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.

In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins are justly displeased?

Last night I took the picture at left of Abigail Morgan and her mother, Julie. This afternoon, at home and in her parents' arms, Abigail succumbed to leukemia and went to be with the Lord.

We praise God for the faithful witness of the Morgans. And we deeply appreciate those of our readers who remembered Abigail and her parents in prayer.

Life is fleeting, eternity imminent. May we live as aliens and strangers on earth to the glory of our heavenly Father.

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My thoughts and prayers are with them.

I am so very, very sorry.

What solemn tidings reach our ears!

How awful! How grand!

A sister landed safe from fears,

on Canaan's happy land.

(Refrain)

She's gone in endless bliss to dwell,

And we are left below,

To struggle with the powers of hell,

Till Jesus bids us go.

No clouds shall now obstruct her sun,

But all be life and peace;

With her 'tis ever, ever noon,

Nor can her joy decrease.

Though she's more happy we're secure.

God's promise cannot fail;

O may we patiently endure,

Our Heavenly Father's will.

The counsel of the Lord shall stand,

And all his will be done;

We'll therefore wait in Meshech's land,

Until he fetch us home.

(Refrain)

She's gone in endless bliss to dwell,

And we are left below,

To struggle with the powers of hell,

Till Jesus bids us go.

(The Gadsby Hymnal, 1838)

Red Mountain Music: http://www.redmountainchurch.org/rmm/alb/heaven.html#clips

May God comfort you both, Darren and Julie, as you trust His kindness through this loss. This hymn has always been a great comfort to me in the death of little ones:

Children of the heav’nly Father

Safely in His bosom gather;

Nestling bird nor star in Heaven

Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;

In His holy courts they flourish;

From all evil things He spares them;

In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever

From the Lord His children sever;

Unto them His grace He showeth,

And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,

God His children ne’er forsaketh;

His the loving purpose solely

To preserve them pure and holy.

Lo, their very hairs He numbers,

And no daily care encumbers

Them that share His ev’ry blessing

And His help in woes distressing.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:

Your Protector never slumbers.

At the will of your Defender

Ev’ry foeman must surrender.

My wife, Sally, and I had to return a four-month old son to the Lord in Holland. As parents we have no idea how long the Lord will entrust his covenant children into our care. Sometimes it's longer; sometimes it's just a few months. I am reminded of the words of Gen. Robert E. Lee, a fine southern Presbyterian, who learned of the death of a young daughter while he was in the field during the Civil War. He wrote to his wife that he was deeply grieved but she was the one the Lord deemed most ready to come home to her eternal rest. Our Lord's ways are inscrutable, but he will never lead us where his grace will not sustain us. The family is in our prayers.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for your kind responses. We held the burial of Abigail this afternoon. This evening an open house/visitation for the Morgan family was held at an elder's house. Probably 300 people stopped by in a wonderful show of love and care.

Tomorrow evening will be Abigail's memorial service at Christ the Word.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Love in Christ,

David

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