Suddenness, Part 2

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us,

                                                             Titus 2: 7-8

 

I’m sorry that this devotional is a day late. I’ve got to say that I have two devotionals that are in some semblance of completion, one of which was started last night, but I did not get (or push myself) to finish. I was about 70% sure on both that they were the ones I was called to write, but for various reasons, they remain undone. I also have, at any given time, three to four ideas that are rolling around in my head for topics.

It wasn’t until I attended today’s memorial service for the woman I wrote about in last week’s devotional that I knew what I was to write for this week.

The memorial service was held at a funeral home at 2:00 p.m. Before it started, as people were walking in, classic 80s soft rock songs were being played, and a slide slow of pictures of Linda (her real name) at various ages with different family members was shown. It was tastefully done, reverence mixed with fun and love in celebration of her life.

A minister started the service by reading Psalm 23 and Ecclesiastes 3 and finished with the Beatitudes. I admit to being surprised, as if you’ll recall what I shared in the last devotional, I didn’t think my friend “Brian” (not his real name) receptive to scripture and Christianity. “Brian” then shared his thoughts and favorite memories, after which each child, as well as some extended family members, spoke of their special times and remembrances of her. Most were funny stories that helped us gain insight as to who she was; others were raw declarations of what she meant to the speaker, and it was during those moments that I cried the most.

Her family and friends were saying such wonderful things about her—that they loved her was very evident, and that such love was reciprocated was unmistakable. Only one speaker talked about regrets, and that was her brother who admitted that they’d just kind of grown apart as adults with busy lives and such, but now wished that they’d seen more of each other.

It was in this sharing that I began to examine how I live and love in my life: Would my children share silly stories of who I was? Did they even have silly stories of me? (yes, yes, they do) Linda was adventurous and bold—I am not. Is it too late for me to change? (Do I even want to? What exactly am I afraid of?) Do my family and friends know what they mean to me—do I demonstrate that enough? What
would they say about me in a service intended to celebrate my life? But the most important question of all is:
                     
   Can they tell by how I live that I love the Lord?
 

 Friends, I hope and pray that the answer to that question is a resounding yes, and that there are examples aplenty to share. And if the answer is not a resounding yes, I will seek conviction by the Holy Spirit to make it so, and for Him to enable me to do that.

What about you? How would people answer that question about you?

Prayer Requests

  • For those burdened pains and loss from the past, that make them feel unloved and unlovable
  • For the lost—those who do not know the grace and love of Jesus
  • For protection for those under attack from the enemy
  • Praise that sadness does not last forever, and that joy comes in the morning!
  • For a successful turnout of new and current folks to our 25 year anniversary celebration!

                                                                                                                       

I am thankful for the fact that the God of the universe uses “good” things and “bad” things to convict and draw us close. Who would’ve ever thought that a funeral or memorial service would make for an object lesson? Yep—He did.

 

Quotes

“When God’s in it…it flows. When the flesh is in it…it’s forced. If He is in it, it’s remarkable how approval will be granted, how a growing interest will percolate, and how the timing will fall right into place. It will come together almost in spite of you.” – Chuck Swindoll

“If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this: you, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.”