A celebration of life is being held soon for a dear friend.
I admit I am struggling with my thoughts and with making a decision as to whether or not I will attend. Why would I ever think of such a question? Well, it’s just that I would far rather remember her in the setting of the wonderful times we shared tea, lunch or our daily phone chats. We spoke almost every day; we shared each others’ triumphs and struggles and we often spoke of our reliance on and appreciation for the peace that comes from having committed our lives to Christ. I’ve pretty much come to terms over the fact that she’s gone (until we meet in Heaven); to recall all that I will miss in her physical absence is something else.
My feelings have been just as mixed – though not nearly as dramatically – as I’ve been reading through the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible. Faced with seemingly overwhelming circumstances, the people either relied on their own perceived strength and were soundly defeated or they asked for God’s direction and help and were given deliverances from their enemies. They vacillated between joining in some deplorable practices with their neighbours (just one example: the sacrifice of children to pagan gods) or in choosing to follow God’s instructions.
It’s like that in our Christian faith, even for those who have made a complete surrender of their lives to Him. Daily we’re faced with situations that demand we either forget or remember. We are exhorted to do both, albeit in different contexts.
“Forgetting those things that are behind” (Phil. 3:13) tells us that sins and failures confessed are to be left with God and we’re to learn and move on; but, let’s always remember “…that the Lord is coming soon.”