Lessons in a Death

This weekend my husband and I attended the funeral of the 25 year-old brother of our music leader who died in a motorcycle accident. Our hearts hurt so for the family…I cannot imagine the loss they are feeling right now. However, because this young man, Troy, knew Christ as his Savior, as does his family, there was a tremendous display of the grace of God at work in each of their lives. Christ was magnified in the service and the Gospel was shared.

I don’t think it’s possible to witness a funeral without being touched by it; I’m sure there are some who harden their hearts, but the Lord spoke sweet things to me as I sat there. I write them here so I won’t forget.

I was reminded that if a person knows Christ as their Savior, there’s nothing to fear in death. Because Christ died and rose again, He conquered death. It is only a shadow now, and a shadow cannot hurt us.

As the siblings sang “Amazing Grace” I heard the words of the verse that said, “He will my strength and portion be, as long as life endures, and I was reminded of my life’s verse – Psalm 73:26. The verse says, “My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” He is my portion now, as long as life endures, and throughout eternity. He will be enough when I face death. He will be enough when I face the death of a loved one. He is exactly what I need – He is my portion.

As I sat there and listened to Troy’s friends stand and share memories of him I wondered what people would have to say about me when I’m gone. Will there be anything of eternal worth? Will I have made an impact on others’ lives? I long so much for my life to count for Christ. It was a sweet time of asking the Lord again to use me and make my life count for Him.

My husband was seated beside me of course, and I became very aware of his hand in mine, the sound of his voice singing the hymns we sang congregationally, and the comfort of his presence. How easy it is to take for granted just being with the ones we love. We walk out the door with a quick goodbye and seldom take the thought that we might not return. This was a reminder to buy up every moment with my loved ones and not take our time together for granted or leave with words I would regret if they were my last to them.

Troy’s father made a statement that will forever be stamped in the memories of my husband and me. He said, “You prepare your kids to live, but not to die! But yet they’re never really ready to live until they’re prepared to die.” The most important thing we can instill in our children is a love for God so they will accept Him as their Savior and be prepared to meet Him in eternity. If they never excel at math or sports, but have a relationship with the Lord Jesus, we will have equipped them to really live!

While our hearts are broken for this hurting family, I pray I can apply to my heart what the Lord wants to teach me, and make even this moment, this day count for Him.

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