It is hard to express in words alone the torrent of emotions that accompany laying a loved one to rest.
Even for those who were not particularly close to the person being grieved for, the whole experience can still be incredibly emotional.
Thankfully, joy can be found in the midst of the mourning if the loved one knew Jesus as savior.
As Billy Graham said when speaking of his own passing, “I will be more alive on that day than ever before.” And he was right. For believers, when we pass from this temporary life into the eternal we will, in fact, be more alive than ever before because we will be with our Lord, the giver of life itself.
But the process is still, understandably, painful. I think that one of many reasons why funerals are so difficult for us humans is because death causes us to reflect. Death causes us to think about life. How did they live their life? How has my own life been lived thus far? How will I now choose to live?
Recently, I attended a funeral service of a faithful and incredible man of God. And it may sound weird to say, but I was truly and deeply blessed. (You know that someone lived their life well when their funeral service is a blessing to people, and a true celebration of life.) I was encouraged to hear about his love and devotion to his God and to his family. I was awed by his steadfast and upstanding character. And I was grateful for the legacy that he left behind.
There is no doubt in my mind that the moment when this man stepped into eternity he heard the words “well done, good and faithful servant.”
Those words actually come from a parable that Jesus told in Matthew 25. You should read the passage for yourself, I promise it will be worth it. But one of the main takeaways is that what you do today matters for tomorrow.
Jesus tells of a master who entrusts a few of his servants with various amounts of money and then he leaves to go on a journey. He returns and discovers what each of his servants has done with the money. The master is very pleased with the servants who have done something with what was entrusted to them and have doubled it.
He tells them “well done.”
But one of the servants was lazy and did nothing with what was entrusted to him, and the master was very displeased with him.
I want to live my life in such a way that at the end of the road I will hear “well done.”
But “well done” starts today. The choices that we make today are literally forming our character. Each and every day needs to be a “well done” kind of day.
There are no shortcuts in a life well done. We cannot just simply hide what has been entrusted to us away and wait till the end and expect a pat on the back.
The only way to hear “well done, good and faithful one” at the end of your life is to do well during your life.
I am thankful for godly men and women who set examples for us to follow and be encouraged by. I am thankful for a God who doesn’t just leave us in the dark, but actually gives us answers to our problems and frustrations in the Bible. I am thankful for Jesus and the promise of eternal life.
And I am motivated to live my life in a way that will please my Lord