August 22, 2009
For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. Romans 14:8
Recently, I went to the funeral of a dear old lady who was special to me.
She had been a Christian not just in name, but also in the way she lived her life. Apparently, she was special to many others. The funeral home was positively lined with potted plants and bouquets of fresh-cut flowers.
There was a steady procession of people lined up to say their earthly farewells and words of comfort to the family left behind.
None of what I've described so far makes the funeral memorable. Even so, there was one line that came from her service I shall recall. During the course of a fine funeral message, the pastor said, "This lady came into the world crying while those around her were smiling; she went out of the world smiling while those around her were crying."
I know it wasn't an original idea with that pastor, but in this case he used the expression in a most appropriate manner.
All of which set me to wondering, what will they say about me after I'm gone?
Will those who are left behind spend some time crying in sadness, or will they be pleased to see I've finally left?
I suppose the answer to those questions depends on the mourner we're talking about.
Still, when all is said and done, the only opinion that is going to count, the only important words that will be said will come from the mouth of the Lord.
· After all, He has loved me longer than anyone else.
· Through His Son, the Savior, He has invested more in me than anyone else.
· He certainly has shown He cares where I am going to spend eternity.
So, what will be said about each of us on the day we meet the Savior face to face? I pray all of us may hear Him say, "Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34b).
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, the day is coming when I will leave behind those who are close to me, those who are loved by me. For many people that is a frightening thought. For me -- because of Jesus -- my dying will be a cause for rejoicing. I will at that moment be standing before my Savior, my Redeemer, my Brother, my best Friend. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries