Though I've only been a member at East Hill for a little over a year, this lady was so special to me. From the start, she was one of the regular people that stopped and talked to me and asked how things were going--even though she was the one going through so much. I will forever treasure the Bible bookmark she gave me that her mother had made and the hat she gave me last year around Christmas that matches my scarf so perfectly. She was so, so generous, and you couldn't help but love her.
While sitting at the funeral yesterday--in the back with the singers...a place she occupied for so long--I couldn't help but smile as I listened to thoughts about her life. She was so full of life and she made everyone around her so happy. But while those thoughts were nice, it was the fact that she had been so faithful to our Lord that made me smile the most.
I know that she is free from her suffering and the trials that plagued her. I know that she is rejoicing, and I can rejoice in that, too.
God is so faithful to us. His promises are true always, and that gives me such hope and assurance. And, though funerals are never fun, don't you just love the ones when you know the other person had been faithful to God? It makes it a much happier occasion.
Concerning death, Paul told the Corinthians:
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory'. "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 1 Corinthians 15:50-57I am so thankful to our God that He has given us the victory! Janet is experiencing that victory over death--and one day she'll be raised to meet our Savior in the air. When I'm sad that I won't get to hear her voice or see her smile, I remember where she is, and I wouldn't call her back for a moment.
It is my prayer that all of you who read this are faithful to our Lord. I know that it isn't probable, but it is my prayer nonetheless. And, if you aren't faithful to your Lord, think of the way your funeral would be. Would your children, grandchildren, and friends be comforted to be there, or would they be mourning your loss because they would never be reunited with you again? If you aren't being faithful to your Lord, change! He gives us victory over death! We must accept the victory, though, on His terms.
Paul urged the Corinthians to be "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" (1. Cor. 15:58). Let us all be that way so that God will give us the victory when our earthly life is over.
I'm so thankful to have known Janet. She was such a bright spot in my life, and she will be missed--until that glorious day when we are reunited.