A brother in Christ recently e-mailed me asking for encouragement because a dear friend and woman of God from our local fellowship passed away this week. Here’s my response, I hope it brings words of encouragement to anyone dealing with the pain of loss.
Pamela Nuckols was indeed a beautiful flower in God’s garden. The presence of God in her life over flowed into the lives of others bringing blessings of joy to many. From her family and friends to her dental office to the MCC body, she was a woman of the Word who lived the Word.
Hopefully, people will look at her life and take notice and think, ‘She was with Jesus.’ You see, it is the power of Christ in us that makes the difference. Now, she has gone to be with the Lord in paradise.
The Bible says that we are not to fear death. We are to fear the Lord. Take heart because she is no longer suffering pain. Pray for her family and learn from her life. She lived it well. I’ve got a few scriptures for you to reflect on.
21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
[Paul said it is better to be in the presence of God than on earth. Thus, we can conclude that Pamela is in a better place. I have no doubt of that.]
I Corinthians 4:6-18
6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed perplexed, but not in despair 9persecuted, but not abandoned struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13It is written: “I believed therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
[Pamela shared this Scripture when she spoke a while ago at the Sunday service. I still remember her boldness in believing this Scripture. And she has her healing she has it in heaven, in a better place.]
2 Corinthians 5:1-10 (Message Bible paraphrase]
1For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heavenGod-made, not handmade 2-4-and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to moveand so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! 5The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. 6That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. 7It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. 8Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
[Homecoming will be great. Pamela will be there as well as many other dear Christians. It will be the best worship service in the history of the world. And you’re invited. Boy, I sure hope the Lord raptures His Church very soon.]
It’s OK to be sad about Pamela. Grieving is part of the process, just make sure that you allow God to heal any hurt in your heart.
Walking in the Light, Chaille