We have had a very busy couple of days with the passing of my sweet friend Beverly Easley. Her husband Bryan is on staff with my husband at East Memorial, and Gene has been away from home everyday since Sunday, from early morning until bedtime, and this schedule will continue until Saturday. He has had a lot of things to help with in relation to Beverly's passing, the visitation, and the funeral, and so have I. On top of the busyness, I have been an emotional wreck, literally, and just haven't had the desire to sit down and really "think"...which is often necessary if one is going to write a blog entry.
The question that has stayed on my mind during all of this is..."How is the passing of a beautiful godly mother and wife a good thing?" I have asked many people that question over the last few days, I have said it to people as I have cried with them, and I have read my Bible looking for a new nugget of truth to help me process this event.
Gene I were talking about this in bed last night and he said it basically comes down to what we really believe about God. Is He good or is He not? We cannot pick and choose what we believe about God. We cannot view Him as a good God when everything is going good and then turn our backs on Him or get angry at Him when something bad happens. We believe ALL of scripture or none at all. So, do I trust God or not? Will I continue to follow Him in the bad times, as well as the good times? My answer to that is YES, because I love Jesus, and I cannot imagine my life without Him. With Jesus there is always hope.
That was the overarching theme of Beverly's homegoing celebration, a funeral like none other than I have been to. It was made clear that if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you have accepted Him as your Savior, then you WILL see Beverly again. Her father, a retired minister, wanted to do her funeral and what an amazing job he did. Despite his incredible sadness over the earthly loss of his daughter, he was able to have joy because of the strong foundation of faith that he has. He reminded her children, his grandchildren, to "stay close to Jesus to stay close to Momma". Her entire family and all her friends could be comforted because we are SURE she went to heaven because of her steadfast love and devotion for Jesus. We were all able to realize that God is still in control, and as believers, we will see Beverly again. Heaven is a wonderful place! Her 3 years of battling cancer are over, and Jesus has wiped away every tear from her eye. She is rejoicing right now. That truth is comforting.
So, are all things really good?
Romans 8:28-29 says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. "
God has a kingdom purpose for Beverly's death and for every single thing that we endure. Many individual things do not feel good, but we have to trust that ALL THINGS works together for our spiritual and eternal good and the spiritual and eternal good of others. The verse is speaking of a long-range good, a good that we may never see. How easy it is to forget that God is not working to make us happy, but rather to fulfill His global purposes. Many, many things HURT in this life, but the believer can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is using it for a greater good.
An example of this are the 2 souls that were saved at Beverly's funeral when an altar call was given. The gospel was clearly laid out and 2 publicly accepted Christ and who knows how many more were touched...or at least had a seed planted in their hearts.
Only God knows how this event will be used in the lives of her husband, children, extended family, and friends' lives....10, 20, 30, 40 years from now and beyond.
Is He good...yes, He is!
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