I've been to six funerals in the past 4 months. I've tried to sit in the services and listen carefully to what's being said but often, as I believe with most people, I'm thinking about myself. That's not selfish. I'm just trying to think on how I can be a better Christian/person to those I know and love while I'm still alive. What can happen in my life that will turn someone towards Christ before they pass away?
As I've pondered these things for a long time I've come to a few conclusions that may help someone.
1. Be all God created you to be. Don't let fear hold you back in any way. Recognize fear for what it is and give it the boot! Live victoriously!
2. Be prepared. Most of the people I talk to who want to witness to someone are afraid to do so. I believe that God gave us the Holy Spirit to interpret our meager speech into understandable thoughts and it comes out just like God wants it to be said. Be brave! Speak out! Stand up!
3. Create a legacy. I truly hope and pray people remember that I loved God, my husband, my kids and grandkids, inlaws, outlaws, with all the fervor possible. I loved them because God loves me. They are and have been precious to me.
4. Be Christ-like. I have only known a couple of people in my life that I can truly say exemplified Christ to the fullest. They were humble, giving, caring people that showed me what Christ-likeness really is. I want to be like that and am working toward it daily. I will only be perfect in heaven, but while I'm here I pray I can continue to display Christ-likeness as much as possible. I am, by far, not a perfect person and fail Him and myself often. God knows my faults and sees my needs and for that I am thankful.
I truly dislike funerals that mark the end of an earthly relationship. But...I love knowing that I will one day see that Christian person again in Heaven! The funerals where I am unsure of the person's salvation, are so sad. I can only pray they met Jesus before their final breath. HE is the only hope!
So, as the next funeral is even now being prepared, I plan on sitting through it and listening for God's voice in my ear telling me how I can be better, be stronger, be Light in a dark place, be Christ-like. Listen to His voice!
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion." Romans 12:9-16
This post is written in honor of my former editor at Keys for Kids Ministries, Kristen Gearhart, whose life was taken much too early.