A Worthy Way To Spend A Life

"Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here...
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear."

We sang the words, surrounded by faces that will forever be seared into my memory.  As we sat, I looked down at the program for the memorial.  The face of a dear lady, one of my many "church grandmas" from my childhood, smiled up at me.

"Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land."

Another dear face, a pastor I haven't seen since I was 12 years old, stood behind the pulpit etched with the words "Jesus Is Lord".  He spoke about how Jesus could return at any moment, and how we all long for the day when we can see His face, as the woman we had all gathered to remember is looking upon Him now.  And my eyes filled with tears, my heart filled with something bittersweet.  She led a life well lived for Christ, and unlike some memorials, I knew the kind words about her were not exaggerated in the wake of her death.  I knew all the words about her faithful service were true.

I hugged her husband, a white-haired "church grandpa", and choked up a little again.

We gathered downstairs for refreshments, and I looked at the quilted wall hangings she had made, photographs of her in her wedding dress. Her name will not be in a headline or a history book.  But there is nothing small about quietly serving others, and faithfully encouraging them to know and love Jesus more.  This is a truly worthy way to spend a life.  And the One who matters most, He sees and rewards His faithful servants. 

I looked around at all the people she had made an impact on, people who still are such a dear part of my own story.  And I realized, this lump in my throat wasn't just sadness for a lady a wouldn't see again, and a time that has passed.  I realized it was also joy.  Because no matter where life takes us, I know someday I'll gather with all these dear people again, around His throne, and there will be joy untainted by sorrow forevermore. And this all because of our precious Savior.  

This wasn't a funeral to grieve; this was a memorial to celebrate what Christ has done to save us, and to look forward to the time when we will see her again.  What a beautiful thing to be able to say.  What a wonderful way to remember one who has entered His glory.  And what a Savior, who takes away the sting even from death.  

 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”...But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."  

1 Corinthians 15:55,57


Read all my 31 Days Of Small Things posts here.

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