Monday, January 22, 2018

Celebrate Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I just came from a "Celebration of Life!"  It was held on Saturday for my dear Aunt Nancy, who passed away last week.  The service was inspiring and was filled with wonderful memories of Nancy. Many of her family members shared heart felt stories including my sister and mother.  The service was filled with tears and laughter; and God's Holy Word was the centerpiece.  I was struck by so many who loved Nancy and the impact that she had on their lives. She was kind.  Never a discouraging word. She was positive.  Uplifting.  Sweet. She was......Nancy.  But what I will remember the most from her celebration was something that my mom said to me privately. 

Mom shared with me through tears that Nancy was the last person left here on earth that could share memories of their childhood together. Her parents and siblings had all passed. And mom is left. I so understand that feeling. As I have grown older, I have realized how much I enjoy time with people my age or older.  There is a special spark that we baby-boomers have when it comes to memories and stories of our childhood. Even the smallest things we share like song lyrics, jokes from the past, stories about school, or events that have marked our lives come flooding back when you spend time reminiscing with someone your own age.  It's comfortable. It's joyful.  It's a smile.  It's the past.  

Scripture is a lot like those times together with our family and friends.  Scripture tells us of a past that we all can share. Regardless of our age!  Things that guide us and lead us through the struggle we call life.  Those who lived before us seem to look into our souls when we read passages about our conflicts and fears.  And God is there.   He is there to confide in and share our most intimate stories. He understands, just like mom understood Nancy's feelings. He has been with us through it all. From the first time we came to be, to the moment that loved ones are gathered around us to say goodbye.  After mom said this to me I told her that at some point in everyone's life, we can look back with fondness but we have to look forward to those we love that are here with us.  A time to make new memories!  She nodded her head yes and went back to what she was doing. Just as we should look ahead, scripture also can be used to guide us in our future.  God promises that, even though we will not be spared trials and tribulations of this life, He will be with us and will not let us go.  He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1).  

Life has a funny way of reminding us that we are God's children, and He is God.  I was reminded by the powerful moment when we gave God His child back. As the sunlight poured into that plain white room at the funeral home, a feeling of grace and love overcame our emotions. What once had seemed a tearful beginning, God had revealed Himself through His scripture and the words spoken and sung.  A comfort, beyond understanding, came in with us, and abided with us.  Nancy's earthly body was gone, but her spirit and soul were walking through Heaven's gates as He had promised. And we knew it. We all could sense it. Scripture is our life. It is our way to better understand God and His plan for us.  It's a comforting story from our past and an enlightening story for our future. As you read the Bible through this year, find your story.  Your path. God is on your path and if you read His word, He will meet you there. I know!  I just came from a "Celebration of Life!"  And I met Him there.  Celebrate in His Word!


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