FAITH: Do you have your whole trust in HIM?
A couple of days ago, I opened the fridge to make my son’s lunch and I noticed the carton of eggs had a date printed on the side. The printing said, “use by Oct. 20, 21.” There is nothing strange about a use by date except this date is my birthday. For some reason, seeing this printed on the egg carton caused me to think more about life and the reality we are never guaranteed tomorrow.
As well, I have presided over several funerals lately, even had two this week alone. In every one of these celebration of life services I have reminded those present to value our lives and value our relationships. In the latest service, I encourage families to not wait until a person passes away to look back at the pictures of life together, but to take time to look at them right now when we are all still together. Most of us carry with us a plethora of pictures on our phone. It does not take much time to remember the precious moments of the past. This reminiscing also helps us to be thankful for who is in our life and the blessings they bring.
‘For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. ‘ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Many of us have heard this passage multiple times in our life, particularly in a popular song from 1965. This week I sat in a living room with a mother and her daughter. The situation in this living room is the mother is dying from a horrible disease. She knows it, her daughter knows it, and I knew it. The reality of her death was never questioned, but the way she would live until the end was at the center of our conversation.
‘ “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ‘ John 14:1-7,27
One of the points of conversation with this precious mother and follower of Jesus was the fears the devil tries to place in the mind of one who knows they are close to eternity. As we shared communion, I prayed for there to be peace over her and peace over her home so when the time comes, she will gently and peacefully enter into the arms of her Savior.
What a day that will be
When my Jesus I shall see
And I look upon his face
The one who saved me by his grace
When he takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land
What a day, glorious day that will be
‘Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. ‘ 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Do you have your whole trust in HIM?
You are Valued and Loved, Pastor B
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.