Living a Life of PRAISE



Life and Death

About a week ago I was watching a sermon where the pastor interviewed a lady in his church who just lost her husband in the train accident in California. As I watched her speak with such joy knowing where her husband was and a peace that was obvious even in her presence, I thought to myself-God I hope to be like that or more importantly experience you like that whenever I have to deal with death. Just a couple days later I got a call saying that my Pepaw had passed away. Now he had been in pain for 3 years so the circumstances were much different then this lady who tragically lost her husband but the same peace and joy she had, I had instantly. All I could do was picture my Pepaw with Jesus, singing and dancing. My heart longed to be there too. As I rejoiced in knowing where he was, my insides worshipped. It was a feeling I’ve never experienced before.

I began praying and asking for prayers from friends that this would lead some of our lost family members home and I saw that starting to happen. I knew my Pepaw would want a celebration and for God to be lifted up. I had no idea how lifted up He was going to be! The funeral was like a church service. My Pepaw came into this world and left this world with very little in regards to money and stuff. But what he left was a legacy of faith. He was a prayer warrior and I have no doubt his prayers for me when I turned my back on my faith and family were heard and part of what brought me back home. My brother who has just started walking strong with God over the past couple years spoke of how my Pepaw was always happy, regardless of what was going on around him, and that was the joy of the Lord. It was obvious in his life. My mom spoke of how she will never be the same because of the love my Pepaw had for her. He was her rock. They had a connection that only comes from two people knowing and loving and serving Jesus. Everything spoken of him all came back to his faith and how he lived his life doing for others.

I began to think what would people say at my funeral? What would I want them to say? That I was nice? Or a good person (whatever that means)? What do I want to be remembered for? Do I reach out to others who are hurting? Do I stay in my church box or do I befriend my neighbors and random people I come in contact with? Do I listen and offer hope or do I judge and go on my day? Would people talk about my “accomplishments” or something deeper? And do I inspire others in a way that leads them closer to God or further from Him? Then I starting thinking of people who find their worth and value and meaning of life in how much money is in the bank, how nice of a car and house they have, and what type of clothes they wear. What can possibly be said at their funeral that has any meaning? I’m seeing more and more how none of that matters, its all forgotten and burned at the end of our lives. Francis Chan says, “So what if you rent a house the rest of your life. Guess what? It burns when you’re gone anyway!” That saying has changed the way I view life and my Pepaw’s funeral just affirmed it. Matthew 6:19-21 says this:

“DO NOT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES ON EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST CONSUME AND WHERE THEIVES BREAK IN AND STEAL, BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NEITHER MOTH NOR RUST CONSUMES AND THEIVES DO NOT BREAK IN AND STEAL. FOR WHEREVER YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO.”

It was evident in my Pepaw’s life his treasures were store up in heaven as he spoke of the Lord to any and everyone he came in contact with. He had a desire to see them know God. He wanted them to know the love that had made him who he was even up to his last days in the nursing home where nurses said they felt the presence of God in his room. As much pain as he was in and out of his mind there were times when the Holy Spirit was alive and kicking because he would pray rain or say something that could only come from God. He praised Him even with his last breath. It just doesn’t get more successful to me then that!

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Comments

  1. * Kristen says:

    Erin, I’ve commented your blog before and although I’ve never met you in person I enjoy reading your blogs and always take something away from them. Anyway, it’s interesting that you just had this experience regarding death and heaven. I just had a similar revelation so to speak and blogged about it. It’s funny how when you need more explanation on something God always guides you through an experience and teaches you in the process all the while also reaffirming your faith. He is so good! I hope you and your family are well.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago


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