Fifty-Six, Minus Three



It’s been fifty-six years since my mother came into this world, and three since she left, and though I don’t understand why, perhaps it was part of God’s plan.

Perhaps, it was God’s plan that she be raised in a loving, Christian, home.

Perhaps, it was God’s plan that she marry a loving, Christian, man.

Perhaps, it was God’s plan that she stand by his side for twenty- eight years (1 Peter 3:1-3).

Perhaps, it was God’s plan that her meek and quiet spirit would qualify him to shepherd the flock of God (1 Timothy 3:1-7; 1 Peter 5:2).

Perhaps, it was God’s plan that she love her first child, Stanley Jr., a very special child, with very special needs, more than she loved herself.

Perhaps, it was God’s plan that she bear, a second child, David, who would fight fires as King David fought giants (1 Samuel 17:48-51).

Perhaps, it was God’s plan that she inspire her last son, to Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, like Timothy, the untimely apostle’s true child in the faith (2 Timothy 1:2).

Perhaps, it was God’s plan that she and her husband raise all three children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

It’s been fifty-six years since my mother came into this world, and three since she left, and though I don’t understand why such a loving and faithful woman had to die so young, perhaps, it was all a part of God’s plan…

Job was a man from the land of Uz who the Bible describes as, blameless, upright, and one who feared the Lord. Though he loved the Lord with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and though he loved his children very much, Job lost it all—His sons, his daughters, his servants, his livestock, his land, his health, his wife, and all his friends were gone in the blink of an eye.

Job curses the day of his birth, and questions the righteousness of God.

“Let the day perish on which I was born and the night that said, ‘a child is born’. Let that day be darkness! May God above not seek it, nor light shine upon it. Let gloom and deep darkness claim it…”, Job 3:1-5

“Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!”, Job 32:35

Before we throw stones at Job, consider our ways! We have all been there—Sad, lonely, desperate, and begging for answers.

Friends, God never promised answers.

God’s judgements are unsearchable, and His ways are past finding out. No one has known His mind, no one has been His counselor, and no one has given Him anything that he might be repaid (Romans 11:34-36).

It is the Lord who is in His Temple, it is the Lord who is seated on His throne, and it is the whole -wide- world that must be silent before Him (Habakkuk 2:20).

He is God. He is in control. Be satisfied with that.

Through His Spirit, and revealed in His Word, God has given us everything that we need that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

As finite men and women, on this side of heaven, we must be satisfied with the fact that there are things that we cannot, should not, and will not know.

The secret things belong to God, and the things that are revealed belong to us (Deuteronomy 29:29). That is enough.

And so, as I reflect on this day—yes, it has been fifty-six years since my dear mother came into this world, and three since she left.

No, it doesn’t make sense that she had to die so young, but when I think about all the Lord has said, and when I reflect on all that He has done, I am content.

I’m content with her life, I’m satisfied with her death, and I look forward to the day when I hear that trumpet sound, when I hear that archangel shout, and when I see, with unveiled face, the Lord in all of His infinite glory, descending from the skies with a cry of command, ready to bring the washed, the sanctified, and the justified home, to be with Him… In His glory… For All Eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Fifty-six, minus three, is fifty- three. My beautiful mother died four months shy of her fifty-third birthday. Though I don’t understand why, God is on His throne, God is faithful, and for this reason, I rejoice.

Happy Birthday, Momma!

Linda Iris Ruffin

1/2/63- 9/9/15

“The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. The righteous are taken away from calamity; they enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”, Isaiah 57:1-2

by Timothy Ruffin

timothyruffin90@gmail.com