Saturday I attended the Memorial Service / Celebration of Life Service for the husband of a Sunday School Class member. I had never met him and barely know his wife; however, through her beautiful emails I felt I knew them both.
At least once a week she shared their journey. via an email message. His continued zest for life no matter what Cancer threw at him, along with her love and devotion was beyond most marriages…(and theirs was not even four years long). Each entry gave a message of hope.
The stories his friends and family shared at the service made me wish I had met him, enjoyed their company…had been friends. The photo montage showed a couple that loved life and each other.
We have no idea how long we have here on earth…we may live into our 80s or 90s…but for some today may be our last day with our family and friends.
When it came time for our pastor to speak, he said, ‘When those photos went by on the screen, I imagined myself up there. I imagined my family and friends in the audience. Did you do the same?’
YES! Everyone was nodding yes.
He went on to say, will we have lived a life that not only our friends and family are proud of but one that Christ is too? Will death be the greatest day of our life because it’s the day we see Jesus face to face?
Are you confident that if today was your last day here on earth that when you become absent from the body that you would immediately be present with The Lord?
Not sure? Click here to learn how you may KNOW for SURE!!
Live your life to the fullest. Is there someone you need to make amends? I am not talking about a mere apology, rather complete RESTORATION of that relationship. Ask yourself, “Is what they did or I did worth what has become of this fractured, dysfunctional relationship? Does it really matter in the long run who was right or who was wrong?”
Be the bigger person, reach out, restore, renew…as there will be one day your pictures will be the focus of the montage, your friends and family will be telling the great stories of your life…but the whispers may be of the fractured relationships you left behind.
Forgiveness is tough. And just because you have forgiven someone it does not mean you are condoning or justifying the deed or the person. BUT…Forgiveness is the beginning of our own healing…the cleansing of that bitter poison in our hearts that eats away at our souls. Allow God to heal you so that you can renew those relationships that are broken.
(Now please note, if that relationship is broken because that person did physical harm to you – an abusive relationship – forgiveness is still possible and necessary for your wellbeing both physically and spiritually, but that does not mean you have to communicate with that person. You must always be safe. God loves that person but God does not condone cruel or violent behavior. Forgiveness in your heart will give you peace…The Peace of God.)
I doubt there is one reader out there that does not have some sort of dysfunction in their family. A mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, friend or co-worker that has just gotten under your skin causing a fester of sorts. It may just be a small abrasion, or it may be a complete fracture of the relationship.
Make amends. One Stone at a Time.
I plead with you. Make amends. Examine your heart. Is this worth it? Your day is coming when your name will be on the funeral bulletin, your photos flashed across the screen…make amends while there is still time.
Forgiveness begins with the surrender of our own will. Start by asking God to work in your heart, to initiate the healing…you will be amazed at the results.
In Matthew 6:6-15, Jesus gives us The Lord’s Prayer…an example of how we are to pray. The Message version says it well:
6 “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God.
8 Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need.
9 With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below.
11Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.
14 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others.
15 If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.
Is God speaking to you? May you find the strength through The Power of the Holy Spirit to make amends.
Blessings to you…Susan