Last night my grandmother, Melinda Register Ethridge, was escorted by at least two angels into the presence of God. As she walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, she had no fear. She went to sleep and then the next moment was in heaven. God rejoiced that one more of His children was home safe… never to cry or struggle any more. Her prayer and desire to leave this world for the best place, was answered as she went to be with Jesus.
She can now hear better than ever. Her eyes are clear. Her mind is sharp. She has riches beyond understanding. She is now finally with the One who loved her more than any other person who has ever lived… Jesus. Personally, I’m jealous of her because she got to see Jesus before me! And I add to that… I’m GLAD for Grana!!
Grana, as we called her, had a tough life. Her dad abandoned her… her mother did too. She was raised by an aunt and uncle. She only went to the 6th grade in school. She worked in the cotton mills of Columbus, GA her entire life. Her husband divorced her… left her with three kids to raise… and he didn’t help her any. But she raised all three the best she could, taking them to church every Sunday, and loved them with all her heart. She never owned a car and walked to work for better than 40 years. She never owned her own home. Her middle child, and youngest son, died of cancer… but she lived with and took care of him till he passed. The last few years of her life she was confined to a bed that she could rarely leave. But in spite of all the hardship… Grana was a sweet, loving, funny, and joyful lady. She was more godly than many people I know who finished seminary. I loved my Grana…
Grana taught me to sing, “Be careful little eyes what you see….” She taught me one of my first Bible verses… Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times.” There was hardly ever a time I was with her that she didn’t mention God… Jesus… and/or the church she attended. She was a quiet, gentle, loving, gracious, and precious lady.
Before long… Jesus will command an angel to blow a trumpet. Another angel will give a shout. And then Jesus Himself will come back to earth… and Grana will be with Him. If I’m alive, I’ll be transformed and meet them in the air. And we will reign with Jesus forever… along with all others who’ve trust in Christ for salvation.
Until then, I have the greatest honor there is… to preach her funeral. I will have the joy of saying a few things about her and, more importantly, about her Savior Jesus. If God allows and it is His will… I will get to do this Wednesday.