Psalm 23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Today has been emotionally rough.
We laid to rest a great man- a father of two young children, a brother, a son, a dear friend to many and so much more.
He was only 27-years-old; far too young to be taken and his death was no fault of his own. He was riding his motorcycle; wearing a helmet, jacket, gloves…everything he could to be safe. A car accidentally turned in front of him and they collided.
It was a matter of seconds – one life was gone and many lives were forever changed!
I had the honor of meeting his mother; this was the first funeral I have gone to as a mother myself. My heart broke for her in a way words could not describe. I could not imagine my child being taken away from me…no matter what age! A child is your child forever in your heart…5,15,25 or 85…they are your child!
Her tears could have filled an ocean and her sorrow was deep…she knew though that her son was in heaven and that is what would get her through this!
The service was a fantastic testimony to this young mans life! There were so many people there and the love was so evident. Men in all different uniforms and walks of life were crying tears and it was OK! Tough guys- that you would not imagine crying…were crying and there was no judgment because everyone felt the same pain.
Memories were shared and laughter and tears filled the room; it was a beautiful tribute to a wonderful life!
As I sat through the service, my emotions were overwhelmed! I regret that I did not know him better, but those all around me knew him well…and through their stories, pain and tears…I felt like I knew him!
Funerals are always…strange…for me.
On one hand I am sad because a life is lost and taken from those who love them. I am sad for the pain that others feel and the heart ache and grief that we all will carry.
On the other hand…I want to celebrate because this person is in heaven with Jesus in paradise! At least I hope.
The Reverend spoke about salvation and how he was certain that this young man was saved. Thank God!
He also shared that he would guess that there were some in attendance that maybe had not yet accepted the Lord.
I sat there thinking about how we never expect the end to come. We go about our day as though tomorrow is a guarantee. We plan our lives, plan our schedules, cancel plans and reschedule. Because tomorrow, next week, next month – will all come; Right?
I have had conversations with people before about Christ and whether he was real or not. Whether heaven and hell were true “places” or if they were just a figment of ones imagination. We have conversed about living life to its fullest and on your death-bed, accepting Christ.
What if you are living life to its fullest?
What if you are an awesome, amazing, caring and loving person?
What if you follow the laws and have supreme moral values?
The only thing is…you’re not so sure about Christ and you really don’t know how to “find” him or even know if you want to. The “religion” stuff is awkward and uncomfortable and lets face it…your friends would never let you hear the end of it if you became all “God like”! I mean “those God people” are strange and only believe in “God” to provide themselves mental comfort.
All of the sudden, you find yourself on a motorcycle or in a car and boom…an accident happens and the “death-bed” you were counting on…doesn’t come. Your life – instead is taken instantly!
In that instant you realize…you made the wrong choice! Those “God people” were right…Now you believe it and would scream it from the roof tops…but you can’t – it’s too late!
This is pretty direct…I apologize, but it is true!
Jesus, God…they are REAL! Salvation is Real! Heaven and hell…they are Real.
Having this young man taken in a way that honestly…many of my personal friends could be taken; really hit me hard. Life is so so so precious and so incredibly fragile. Nothing is a guarantee! Yes, often people are “saved” on their death beds…but we don’t know if we will be given that chance or not!
Religion can be strange when it is new. Religion can be intimidating and overwhelming. Religion can, in some cases, seem like a colt or strange organization. Religion can be all of these things and then some!
Can I tell you a something awesome?
My God, My Father, My Savior…he is NOT Religion! He is none of the things listed above. Once you break the wall that is up between you and him…he will fill you with his presence and you will know that he is real; you will know that he is loving and you will know that your eternity lies with him!
Maybe…you hold anger towards him; perhaps someone or something was taken from you and you hold God responsible.
Please realize, God is not punishing you or trying to hurt you or get you…Not at all! He will show you that and your anger…he will not hold against you. He Wants You! He Loves You and wants to show you!
The 23 Psalm – listed above as todays verse(s) entry; is one that is often read during funeral services. The Lord is My Shepard.
It is common because it is exactly right. In death we separate from our body, our soul exits and the next “life” begins. When we have Jesus…we will not have fear at this moment. Our soul will be met by him and led to meet our Father!
Please, value life and respect it for how temporary it is. We all were created, we have a purpose…we may not know when that purpose is fulfilled! Some of us will live to see our purpose fulfilled and some of us, in death, will fulfill our purpose.
Please, if you are not sure…just give God a chance! It doesn’t have to be in public; it could be right here…in front of your computer.
Even if you don’t know what to say or where to start…Just say Jesus!!! He will read your heart and send your answers!
Dear Lord, I praise you for your blessing us with this young mans life that we laid to rest today! Lord I also praise you for every person reading this! Lord, I pray anyone reading this will feel your presence and feel your love! If they feel strange or maybe even afraid…comfort them and show them your unending love, mercy and grace! Lord, life is so fragile and temporary! We don’t know when our time will come! I pray that each person reading this will allow you into their hearts and allow you to walk them through this life; so they can spend their next one with you! I pray this in your sweet, precious and holy name – amen