Funerals are never easy, but seeing all the extended family helped me greatly. I had not seen some of them in years and it was just nice to have everyone together. I couldn't help but think how much Granny would have liked that too. We couldn't all seem to get together in the same place, at the same time when she was living. I immediately wanted to turn back the clock and call Granny more, send her more photos and letters, and of course, visit her more. Don't we all do that? We take life for granted and the people in our lives for granted. We realize just how important they are and what a huge part of lives they are when they are gone.
Seeing Granny in the casket was like a punch in the stomach....immediate tears and thoughts that this could not be happening. We had just spent a wonderful day with her in June, and I am so thankful for that time. I had the same "punch in the stomach" feeling as I walked into her house yesterday. I always arrived there eager to see her, so proud to show off my daughters, and it just seemed so empty yesterday, even with all the people mingling around. I would get teary eyed just looking around the den and kitchen area as memories flooded my mind. It was also so strange to think that I may not ever be back in that house again. I had been coming there for 30+ years, and again to close that door on such a huge part of my life is so hard to wrap my brain around.
The funeral was really nice. I thought the pastor did a great job. The verses that were shared and the song that was sung were very comforting. It gave me great peace to know that she was a believer, that she was ready to go home, and that she was at peace with that fact when she was in the process of leaving this earth.
I found myself looking around at all the family and friends that were present wondering who truly had that same peace. Many claim to be believers, holding on to some prayer that they said in childhood or saying that they believe in God or believing that they are good people. That just simple isn't enough. The Bible says that Christians are known by their fruit. We are to bear fruit in keeping with our repentance (Matt. 3:8). It makes me sad when I think of eternity in relation to the fruit that I see in people.....and I am certainly not just talking about those at the funeral yesterday, but Granny's death has just made me think about eternity in general.
We will all face a judgement day before a very Holy God. How do we live our day to day lives and not acknowledge that truth. Not making a choice....not wanting to think about this today, is making a choice...a choice to turn your back on God.
I rejoice in the knowledge that my Savior lives and He lives IN me. I am sure of that...100%... no doubts, no questions. He is in the process of changing me every single day. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Everyone can know God and be known by God. He loves all of mankind.
We have all sinned and we all fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Praise God, that while we were still sinners Jesus Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) He didn't wait for us to be perfect or to have it all together. In doing so, he paid the ultimate price for the penalty of sin so we don't have to and He displayed His great love for us. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10) Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 1:13) Faith comes from what is heard and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Revelation 3:20 says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me."
Pretty powerful verses.
Maybe He is knocking on your heart's door today.
If your doubt your salvation or you know that you're not saved, read over these verses again and again and pray that God reveals the truth to you. He is the only one that can do that.
I would love to introduce you to My Savior. If you have questions, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will do the best I can to answer them.
One thing I heard about Granny over and over again yesterday was that she never said a cross word about anyone. No one could think of one negative word she said. She was positive and she saw the best in people. Seems to me that the fruit of the Holy Spirit was pretty evident in her life. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
She was a pretty amazing lady, displaying all of the fruits of the Spirit everyday.
Granny, I love you and you will be missed.
Hazel Black Dean
June 1, 1920 - July 6, 2010