For many, death is the scariest thing they will ever face. To them, death is the end. But as Christians, we know that even in midst of the sadness of death, there is hope! In the midst of sorrow, God shows Himself as our comfort. Even if we don't understand why, we know that He is sovereign, good, and loving. We know that He has promised eternal life for His children. Death is not the end, but the beginning of something so much better!
We heard about Abd El Aziz's passing yesterday, but I got a little better idea today of what exactly went happened. He was checked into the hospital on Tuesday, had surgery on Thursday, and was recovering well in the ICU when we visited Friday. The doctors were very pleased with how his surgery went and did not have any concerns. They checked on him at 1:00am Saturday morning and he was doing fine. But at 5:00am, things had taken a turn for the worse and he died a couple hours later. From what the doctors can tell, his death was due to something other than a complication with his heart, but the exact cause is still unknown.
Since yesterday was Shabbat, it was impossible to transport the baby's body and his mother back to Gaza until today. We visited the hospital this morning to spend time with her, cry with her, comfort her, pray with her, and talk to her before she went home.
When we arrived this morning, we found her sitting with some of the other mothers outside on some benches. My heart broke for her and as we made eye contact, tears started streaming down both of our faces. I quickly walked over and gave her a long hug, before sitting down beside her and holding her hand. As we cried, she looked to heaven, her eyes full of questions. I didn't have the Arabic vocabulary to encourage her, so instead I prayed that the promises of the Bible would be true in her life. That as she mourns she will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) I thank God that there were other women at the hospital this weekend to spend time with her and that we had a few hours with her today to show her His love.
Keep this family in your prayers. Right now their grieving is raw and real. They are full of questions that only God can answer. But I pray that one day they will be able to say, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 13:55) And I pray that through this sad time, they will find the hope that comes with knowing Jesus. As He said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25).