Psalm 22:28-29 “For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.”
Everyone will attend at least one in their lifetime.
I can remember the first funeral I attended. My grandmother had passed away when I was about six or seven years old.
I remember little of the service only to say that there was much weeping and drying of tears. The reception that followed gave me much consternation. There was all manner of food and drink. There were a band and dancing. As a little boy, I could not comprehend nor reconcile the two events in my mind. Such sadness and then celebration?
I asked my Mom about, and she made it more evident. She said, “We are sad that Grandma is no longer with us, but we are celebrating because she is in Heaven.” I later found out that it was the Polish version of an Irish wake… but I digress.
The part of the passage that struck me was;
“…and none can keep alive his own soul.”
Funerals bring our own mortality to the forefront of our minds. We almost unknowingly, push the thought of death and dying to recesses of our minds. Funerals seem to grab it and force us to look into the mirror and see ourselves in that casket one day.
Man has searched for the ‘fountain of youth’ throughout his existence. Even today, we take pills, have surgeries and exercise to try to keep our bodies looking young(er) though it always ends the same.
People have subjected their bodies to be frozen in hopes that when (or if) they ever are awakened, the world will have figured out many of the problems that made them want to escape it in the first place. We are fascinated with time travel. The ability to go forward or reverse to see what we can do better, change the outcome or learn from history. The only thing man has genuinely learned from history is that we do not learn from history.
Try though we may, we cannot, nor will we ever prolong our life to exist on this earth in a state satisfactory to our will. I have come to accept by the Word of God that I am a created being. I have a wonderful and beautiful Creator.
Psalm 139:14 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
As I think about it, a thought bubbles up…
As a Christian, I have learned who I am, where I came from and where I am going. I have learned and accepted that, though I have been given a free will; giving my will over to the One who created me, will affect my outcome very favorably.
I have seen many in their dying moments enough to know that the passing over into eternity has many paths, but only two destinations. We try to prepare for that moment to be as pain-free as possible; though we seemingly have no control over it.
There is a calm, a peace that comes over one who has come to accept these truths. Sometimes it is at the end of one’s life that the acceptance of the inevitable brings a calming peace that embraces what is to come eventually.
Unless we take our own life, none of us knows the time nor that place when we will leave this world and enter eternity. For the saved child of God, there is a beautiful promise:
2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Stephen saw where he was going before he left this world.
Acts 7:55-56 “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”
His firsthand testimony enraged those who rebelled against the truth. But it also encourages us who are saved to embrace the fact that there waits on the other side eternal life – just as God said it would be.
Death, my dear reader, is inescapable.
But take heart… God has not left us without hope or a way out. Trusting Him for an eternity with Him is what has brought this humble servant great peace and joy to the place where I embrace death as a portal to a place promised in the presence of Almighty God.
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