Monday, February 27, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

This past week I attended the funeral service of a cousin; a loved wife, mother and grandmother. She was in her early fifties and God brought her Home after a tiring battle with cancer. It's difficult seeing the grieving family at the front, so young and so many firsts to face without their loved one. There was preparation and acceptance of saying goodbye but still a whole new world to begin after the funeral is over. The grieving process still has to be faced and worked through. I was really struck by the pastor's prayer for the family to go from the moments of memories that will ignite sorrow and pain to coming to the times that memories will bring laugher and warmth to the heart. I know that place can be reached because I experience those times now with my family; the aching pain has healed over into laughing and reminiscing at recollections of our father. There will always be a bittersweet pang but God really does bind up our wounds when we mourn in His comfort.

'Biblical mourning is the embracing of pain/and or sorrow for the purpose of renewal'

I came away from the funeral knowing that this blessed woman was a woman who left a legacy of love and sincere faith behind for her family. She died with prayers for her family and a longing to see her Jesus. The pictures displayed depicted a beautiful young woman as a gem for her husband, a nurturing heart to her children, a cancer patient treasuring times with her grandchildren, a faith that could not be severed by her disease. What a blessed heritage to leave behind.

This week I also think of a special Uncle we said good bye to nine years ago this time, the legacy he left behind through the ministry of his music. Today I see him shining through the voices and musical talents of his children. I think of my Grandpa, who will be ninety five soon and is recovering in the hospital from a very close encounter with death. God has given him continued time to enrichen his legacy, a chance to put away the former things, choose love and celebrate what is left of life.

 I sit here with thoughts of the legacy I wish to leave behind, the words that I wish to have said after I die.  At our Ladies Bible Study we are reading 'What's It Like Being Married to Me' by Linda Dillow. The first chapter challenged with a scenario of attending a funeral and coming face to face with yourself in the casket, sitting down in shock as your husband stands up to read your eulogy. The author intends to have us think hard about what we would wish for our spouse to say about his experience in marriage to us. To take what we would want to have said about us on our final day and apply it today and live with "the end in view". A quote from her book says ' we are 'daily' people, not lifetime people, but God wants us to be eternal people.' To daily store up the treasures of our hearts in Heaven. 
 That on the day our loved ones say good bye they will say we have been:
Wives 'worth far more than rubies.' Prov.31:10
Husbands who have loved and honored their wives. Ephesians 5:25
Children who ave honored our fathers and mothers. Ephesians 6:2
Father's who have not embittered their children. Colossians 3:21
Women who have put on the fruits of the spirit:compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
That in suffering we have been strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 5:10
And simply that we have 'lived a life of love, just as Christ loved us' Ephesians 5:2

In our own strength it's difficult to live out these holy attributes, and often our own weaknesses take power. No matter how close in view the end is, if it hasn't come yet we can always call upon Jesus who longs to forgive and renew.To fill us with the desire to fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7. A legacy worthy striving for.


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