Surprise! I'm back.
I have written over 1,000 blogs and only skipped a handful of days in writing, but I took off the first part of this week. Actually, I have been funeralizing. That's not a real word. I just made it up. One of our precious saints here at the church I pastor went to be with the Lord, and then another in a church I pastored 35 years ago passed. So this week I have been busy ministering to those who have lost dear ones.
Death is part of life. We don't have to fear death or even dread it, if we are a believer. Jesus defeated death at Calvary. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
One day there will be no more death, but until then we must fight the good fight of faith, even through death. We don't have to fear walking through the valley of the shadow of death for Jesus is with us, but for those who remain there is pain and loss to deal with.
Grieving is a process, but misery is a choice.
Pain, denial, anger, hurt, acceptance and healing all are a part of that grieving process. Grief isn't dealt with in a couple of weeks or months. It takes a couple of years or more to go through the process, and then the pain still doesn't go away. You just don't hurt as long as you once did.
What have I learned in preaching untold funeral sermons these forty plus years of ministry?
I have learned that Jesus is real and the comfort of the Holy Spirit is real.
I have learned that grief can be overcome.
I have learned that people don't need all of my sermons. They need a listening ear and a caring heart.
I have learned that a tender heart means more than a profound, stirring sermon.
I have learned that heaven is real and that in Jesus we have eternal hope.
I have learned that life if brief and can end in a moment.
I have learned that being ready for eternity is all that matters.
I have learned that only what we do for Christ matters.