"For me to live is Christ, to die is gain."
My father's death anniversary was on the 16th of March. I thought of his life and how it helped me in my journey.
My father hailed from a small village. He belonged to a Hindu family and lived true to his convictions. His parents were not well off. My father was able to make his way to Singapore, educated himself and held a high position in the government.
Though he married my mother who was a Christian, he remained a Hindu, till one day in his distress [he lost his son suddenly and his wife was sick in the hospital] his eyes fell on my mom's Bible. As he opened it, the Lord spoke to his heart from Isaiah 1:3: "The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, my... people do not understand.". He went on to read and to search the scriptures and was convinced of the truth. By the time my mother came home from the hospital with the new baby, the Lord had worked in his heart and he was ready to accept the Lord and obey in the water baptism. The Lord always has His way and His time.
More than his conversion, the change in life, his upright living, his integrity and obedience to every truth from the Bible, set an example for my family and me. He retired early at 55 years to stay with his family in Sri Lanka. We were wealthy and lacked nothing. Yet, his lifestyle was that of a true Christian. He was up as early as 4am, sang praises to the Lord and read and meditated on the Bible before he started the day. His favorite verse was: "We live and move and have our being in the Lord ... We are His offspring."
He was a healthy person and was never sick. The day he died, as usual, I heard him having his daily devotions. In the hymn he sang the last stanza says: "Lord if your coming happens to be today, keep me prepared to meet you with delight.". He sang this more than three times and as usual went to do some work in the fields, which was how he exercised. At about 7 am he had a slight discomfort and with in 20 minutes he was gone even before the doctor came. He was gone to be with his father at the age of 57.
People thought it was not fair. Why did God take him away when the family needed him most? I didn't know why either. But I knew that God never makes a mistake. We were very sure that he had gone to be with the Lord and one day we will meet him. Though physically he was dead, as the righteous have hope in his death, so did he. His death was precious in God's sight [Pro. 14:32; Ps. 116:15] All these verses gave us comfort.
Ever since my father's death, the Lord took the place of my father and proved "... a father of the fatherless and a judge of the widows, is God in his heavenly place. [Ps. 68:5]" to be true.
It has been 47 years since my father died. All his five children are doing well, continuing in the faith and serving the Lord in some way. God is faithful. The children of the righteous are never forsaken. All praise to God for what He did in my fathers life and for us.