The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. (Lamentations 3:22-26 ESV)
For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men. (Lamentations 3:31-33 ESV)
Dear friends, I promise to get back to our look at Luke’s gospel but I wanted to take a few days to look at some verses that were read at my friend Ginger’s memorial service. As I have gotten older I find that now I always read the obituaries or what my paper now calls Life Tributes. First of course I want to make sure I am not listed as that would cause me to rethink my plans for the day. But I also want to make sure I do not miss the passing of friends and co-workers. Even in this day of almost instant communication people forget to notify everyone.
Funerals and memorial services are not for those who have died. They are for those of us left behind. We need to be assured and comforted. So let us take a look at the verses that Virginia selected to be read upon her passing from this life to the next. True to her earthly life she was ready to comfort others around her. That is why the two selections from Lamentations are so her.
People will let us down. People leave us. Even our pets can run away. God however will never leave us. He will never forsake us. God showers down His mercies on us. Every day God is ready to show us something new, something exciting. All we need do is seek out His goodness and mercy. Virginia left us rather suddenly. When I last saw her at Thanksgiving at my brother’s house she was in good sprites with little to show of the illness that would soon claim her life. She left not because she wanted to or that we did anything to her she left because it was her time to leave. She knew that she was leaving here to a better place. She left to be with her savior. But she also wanted to remind us that God was still our God and still there to love and comfort us.
God know we will experience sorrow. But He also wants us to know that there is more joy in store for each of us. When we grieve the loss of a loved one we need to remember that through our sorrow and our beliefs others may come to know God. When we are able to celebrate the homecoming of our loved ones those who are without hope see our hope and just maybe they want what we have. Virginia was not afraid of death because she knew that this short earthly life is only the beginning of a much more glorious life. A life eternal with God.
Have a blessed day,