Saturday, 25 July 2015

Outliving Your Pallbearers

Proverbs 27:29 As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.

      I was talking with an older man who was concerned that he had outlived all his pallbearers. There was levity in his voice as we talked about it. I jokingly said to myself, "Maybe that was why people got cremated today so that they only need one pallbearer." Joking aside, it was obvious that the elderly gentlemen I had been talking with had been taking stock of his life. 
      He had mentioned that he was one of the only ones left from his generation and the obituaries were starting to look like a list of his class reunion. He was now looking back in deep thought and taking a personal inventory of the life he had lived. We will all do the same one day and a life well lived is hopefully what we will all see when we look back on our lives.
      I realize that there will be some regrets and personal ugly scars left on our souls because of bad choices by accident or free will. However, what will be important to us will be whether we lived our lives to the full potential that God created within us. Hopefully, we will be able to say like the apostle Paul in 2 Tim. 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. Hopefully, at that time, we will still be so full of life that we will be looking forward and not just bemoaning the lost opportunities in our past.
      When it comes time for us to look into the mirror of our life, will we be pleased with what is looking back at us? I believe that if we have walked in the love and grace of our Savior there will be a calm acceptance of who is staring back. It was grace at the beginning of our walk with God and it will still be grace at the end, sustaining our souls right into the eternal joy of the Lord for all time. Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
      There was no boasting at the beginning of our walk in Christ and there will be no boasting at the end. It was all God's grace toward us in Jesus name. What will be important to us will be the fact that we will still be able to live out a newly sown vision that the Lord has created in our hearts. Will we sit back and say, "I'm too old for that kind of vision Lord." Or will we be excited that we are still being used to bring about the kingdom of God into this lost world? 
      We read the story of Caleb and Joshua who outlived all their contemporaries and were able to enter the promised land God had promised them. Did it take a long time to fulfill? Yes, many years went by but they had a vision and a promise from God that kept them alive and strong as they got older. Josh. 13:13  And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. Josh. 14:12a Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. 
      That is what will keep us going in our later years. Vision from God will keep us young in heart and will bring strength to our inner man. Caleb might have been old in age, but was still full of the vision that God had put in his heart and that vision gave Caleb the supernatural strength to carry out a warfare that was God inspired. Psalm 92:14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. 
     I have always been involved in ministry of some kind my whole Christian walk. Recently, I had a fresh vision dropped into my heart and I ended up teaching a French bible class. Now that came out of spiritual left field. Did I feel limited? Yes, because I know how to speak French but I did not have a French bible language. After a few sputtering head starts and a few misused verbs the class became fun and a blessing to me. 
      As I get older I realize that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I don't know if I am going to outlive all my pallbearers, but I do know that when I go I will have a vision still working in my heart and will be able to look into the mirror of life and be at peace with whom I see because I will still be in Christ. His grace is sufficient. 2 Cor. 12:9  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

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