When an obituary gives the time of birth and death, survivors, and the time of service, but says nothing of their life, I feel a great emptiness inside. Was their life of no value? Could their loved ones not think of one thing to say about the life that is now gone forever? That life meant something if to no one else than God! When I see an obituary like this, the truth of the richness of a graveyard becomes very evident. I often wonder what their dreams were or if the trials of life were too great for them to attain. Did they become weary in doing good, stopping before they reached the finish line? My thoughts are consumed with so many questions that will forever go unanswered.
This type of obituary always brings to mind one of my favorite scriptures, Jeremiah 29:11. God is saying He has a plan, or He thinks about, us that will give us hope and a future. What sidetracked these individuals from the plans God had for them? Did it forever change their future, or was life so directed by life's circumstances that they lost hope of a future other than what was seemingly laid out before them? Did this life end in "unattained successes and unrealized dreams?"
After a time of great trial in my life, God led me to the scripture found in 1Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV), "In this, you greatly rejoice though now for a while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, that perishes, being more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." the Lord helped me to see in this scripture that not only is your faith precious but the trial of your faith is also. If nothing more can be said about a person's life but that they had faith, they overcame the trials of life, then their life was of great value.
Then there are the obituaries that read like "who's who in the community" giving a long list of their accomplishments and credits, starting with their military service then listing their memberships, and ending with the number of boards they have served on. These people have lived amazing lives. So many talents and so much community pride-filled their lives. But something is missing, and a great sadness fills my heart. You see, by the way, the obituary reads, there was no indication that they were Christians. Not a single word tells you He was apart of their lives. The time surrounding the "dash" appears to have been spent attaining personal gain and receiving their rewards on earth and not storing their treasures in heaven. A life that "transform entire communities," but no one weary soul was given hope in the Lord. Psalm 17 (NKJV) says they are "men of the world who have their portion in this life, and in whose belly you fill with your treasures." leaving an inheritance of material possessions ghat according to God, in Matthew 6:19, moth and rust will destroy and thieves will break in and steal.
These may have been good people, well-respected in their communities, devoted to family and doing good works, but without Christ, it was all in vain. The gates of heaven do not open just because you are a good person with good work. When you choose any action, you are also choosing its consequences, and by not accepting Christ into your heart, you are rejecting Him. This life falls short of God's intended purpose.
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