I often comment on the fact that my dad, Clayton Iles, was a much better writer than I’ll ever be. The following essay is an example of this truth.
Daddy wrote this in 1987. Over the years it has given comfort to many people when they have lost a loved one. I hope it speaks to you as it has to others.
Our Father Knows Best
I do not know when or how Jesus will choose to call me home. It may be through something that the world would class as a tragedy or an accident. It might be through a lingering terminal illness, or it might be through the wearing out of this body.
It might even be through His coming again. It may be today or many years from now. Regardless, the thing that will make it blessed is that it will be His time and at His call. This will be His call for me to enter the “real” world prepared for me and too glorious to describe.
I do not associate my death with evil in any way, nor do I want my friends and family to view it as such. It is the door through which we all must pass, but the Keeper of the Door has promised that once we make Him Savior and Lord, He will never, never leave us or forsake us. I think this means that neither Satan, nor any power, can ever touch me whether it is in life or at the time of death. Nothing can penetrate the loving arms of Christ around His child.
I believe that God must be either active or passive in the events of life and in this world. In the Bible I only see Him as an active God. I am so glad that He is active in the affairs surrounding my life, and since God never does anything part way, I know He is in control of every second of every hour I live. There is an appalling thought connected with this truth: He has a perfect will for each moment, each day, and each year of my life. . . and I daily fail to even start to live up to this will.
The sweet thing is He still loves me in my weakness just as I will always love my children even when they do different from what I think they should. If I can feel this way about my children in my imperfect love, how much more He can in His perfect unlimited love.
I do not understand why the Lord allows certain things to happen to His people. I do not begin to understand the mind of an all sovereign God. (How could we in our weak and feeble minds?) God does not ask us to figure everything out, but He does ask us to trust Him in every situation and praise His Name because He knows best and will give us what is best.
It is so wonderful just to be able to cling to and claim verses like Psalms 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Or Proverbs 3:5-6, which states: “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Then the verse that says it all, Romans 8:28, “For all things work together for good to those that love the Lord.” I cling to these verses and find comfort for every thing I cannot understand. God wants us to trust Him and to lean not on our own understanding.
I don’t know how the unsaved person can even bear to think about death, much less experience it. I do not know how anyone can make it through life without a guide. I am so glad and so very thankful that I have a Savior who I can trust each moment and who I know will someday call my name when He is ready for me to see Him face to face. My death may be a shock, a surprise, or even called an accident from this side of life’s curtain, but to God it will not be a shock or a surprise. It will be a part of God’s perfect plan and for me a glorious Welcome Home.
Job said it all when he said, “The Lord gave. The Lord has taken away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. “
-Clayton Iles 1987
From Wind in the Pines by Curt Iles copyright 2004 Creekbank Stories