Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

To live is Christ, To die is gain January 13, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 4:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday was my first funeral at Ferndale which was quite emotionally tough its fair to say but also was so encouraging. The funeral was of a 90 year old Christian lady and the talk so clearly reflected how the title of this post was true to her and was such a reminder of how much the gospel should be worth to us.

But the most encouraging thing was speaking to the widower and I said I was sorry. To which he answered, “What are you sorry for, She is in a better place. I miss her and the house is empty but who I’m I really mourning for when I know that she is with the Lord and not suffering. I’m just mourning for me”

What an encouragment to see someone facing the death of his beloved wife with his eyes firmly fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

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One Response to “To live is Christ, To die is gain”

  1. Charles Whiting lived in Irvington, New York. He was a little over 80 years old in 2005, when his wife, Catherine, died. NBC News reported that Mr. Whiting “stayed connected” to his wife after her death, through his Verizon phone. Specifically, he would call his own phone every day “to hear his wife’s voice saying ‘the Whitings aren’t home.’” One day, though, Verizon upgraded his service, and the voice message was lost. Mr. Whiting “immediately called Verizon and waited for an hour for help. He got disconnected, so he called back. After another 90 minutes, he said he was told he couldn’t get the message back and that he would just have to record a new one.” Mr. Whiting felt devastated.

    The story has sort of a happy ending because some sympathetic Verizon employee eventually found the old recording. However, we might wonder if Mr. Whiting, the grieving widower, has access to a better source of comfort than a short voicemail message.

    Certainly, there are few things in this world as distressing as the death of a loved one. The Bible holds no condemnation or rebuke for those who feel sorrow at such a time. As we are learning in Sunday School, though, the Bible holds great hope for those whose loved ones have died a physical death after receiving the salvation of Jesus Christ.

    “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” I Thessalonians 4:13-18

    When a Christian dies, his or her Christian survivors feel sorrow, but not the sorrow of “others which have no hope.” For we have the greatest Hope of all: the Lord Jesus Christ. He will one day reunite all those who have died in the faith, and this is a great source of comfort, and even joy, in the midst of grief.

    I would have loved to have been present when two of my all-time favorite preachers met at a Bible conference many years ago. Vance Havner’s wife had recently died, and Warren Wiersbe, seeking to comfort him, told him, “I was sorry to hear about you losing your wife.”

    “She’s not lost,” Havner replied. “Something can’t be lost when you know right where it is.”


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