A Year Later: Reflections From My Father’s Passing


It’s good to be back on the blog after a long break. The last year and a half, with school and work, brought a busier Jamal. I plan to get back in the swing of things with writing more often. I’m eager to share with you about life updates and ministry. 

I wanted to hop on here real quick to share with you some thoughts on a day I will never forget. Yesterday, February the 25th, was the day my father died. It also marked the one-year anniversary of my father’s passing. It’s crazy to think that my father transitioned to heaven a year ago yesterday. Time is flying by quick. 

My father’s death was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I had just turned 23 a month before. I was young (still am lol) and mom was too young to be a widow. To make matters worse, we lost dad unexpectedly. Gone! Just like that. I had just talked to him the day before and mom had talked to him hours before. We did not get to say a proper “goodbye.” That pain was deep for the both of us.

On the other hand, God turned a dark hour into one of my warmest memories. The Lord was and has been faithful and has made himself known during that time in so many ways.

Here are seven things the Lord taught/reminded me during the past year.

1. God is the only constant.

Everything changes. People die, kids grow up, countries wage war against one another, and friends move away. The life we live now will not be the life we live 20 years from now. God, however, never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The Lord used my dad’s death to remind me that he is my only reliable constant in Life.

2. The Lord is undeniably sovereign.

God revealed his providential care to our family in ways beyond number. He graciously reminded us that he is on the throne, and He is not surprised by anything. He works all things out for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28-29). God used my dad’s death to show my family and I that he is in complete control over and actively involved in the details of life.

3. Jesus is enough.

Corrie Ten Boom once said, “You don’t know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” She was defiantly right. This also revealed Christ’s sufficiency (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). It was through my dad’s death that I learned first-hand that Jesus has secured for me everything I need in this life and the next. Not even death can take that away. Amen!

4. Pain reminds us of what’s important.

Our lives are plagued with insignificant pursuits. Sporting events, movies, social media, and online gaming to name a few. God used my dad’s death to rid my life of so much trivial drama. He refocused my attention on what’s really important by reminding me that life is too short to waste on silly things. People are dying and going to hell, and they need a savior.

5. Suffering well is a Christian’s best witness.

Many people and family that came to my dad’s visitation and funeral seemed hopeless. The joy the Lord gave my mom and I, caught many friends and family off guard. They couldn’t believe that our lives weren’t unraveling at the seams. This gave us a huge platform with which to tell people about the goodness of God. God used my dad’s death to make Jesus known to more people. (1 Peter 3:14-15)

6. Death is inevitable.

Even if the medical professionals could have revived my dad’s life, he would have died eventually. This is true for all of us as well. We will all die. It’s unavoidable. God used my dad’s death to make me feel the weight of eternity. We will all eventually cross the threshold of eternity. When we do there’s no coming back.

7. God is still good!

That’s it! He’s good!

I close by saying, I’m reminded that we’ll spend more time on the other side of eternity than we will on this side. It’s important that we take the time to decide what we believe about the afterlife before death comes knocking. When it does it’s too late. 

Also, those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ should live with some sense of urgency. People need Jesus. We don’t know how much longer they have, to put their faith in him. We need to be telling people about the good news before it’s too late. 

All in all, God used my dad’s death to give me a deeper experience of grace, a greater delight in his glory and an increased confidence in the work and person of Jesus Christ. I miss my dad dearly, but what I lost in my dad’s death doesn’t compare to what I have gained in Christ. Plus, my dad didn’t lose anything in his death either, he gained eternal life in the presence of God! (John 12:25)

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