“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
~ 2 Timothy 4:7
My husband and I attended a funeral yesterday. The funeral of a dear family friend who died way too soon, after a few short months of illness. And yet, the timing was perfect. His third child, who is also the caretaker and partner in the farming operation is also the same friend of ours who will be getting married this summer. The fiancee was thankfully able to meet her future father-in-law back at Easter time. A dad was able to give his blessing and impart some wisdom.
Yesterday, David gave the sermon for his dad’s funeral. He preached on his dad’s perseverance through so much adversity in life. And even though there were times he probably wanted to give up and give in, he pressed forward. He was a simple man and his faith in God is what he held on to when the world around him seemed to be falling apart.
The graveside service was simple and peaceful. One of the prettiest cemeteries I’ve seen~ trees, wildflowers, birds singing. The sun was shining and the lilacs were blooming. It was the perfect day for saying goodbye to an earthly body. And the peace…it was everywhere. There were few tears and lots of laughter. One of God’s kids was Home and it’s pretty hard to be sad when you know that he’s in the presence of his Saviour and Lord.
I wonder how my funeral(if I ever get to the point) will be? I wonder if someone will say of me , “She fought the good fight, she finished the race and she kept the faith.” I sure hope so. What a wonderful testimony of a life well lived and the hope of Heaven and eternal life.
Regardless of where you find yourself right now, you can have that peace too. Life is hard and we do fight through so many challenges and troubles. But we can fight well; we can live with integrity and perseverance. We can finish the race set before us~ even if most of it is going up hill! After all, that’s where we build muscle and endurance. And , above all, we can keep the faith. Many people may say that faith in God is a useless waste of time. Many people think that faith is fantasy. But each of us, if we are honest, know that in the core of our being we were created for more than this earth has for us. We know that the Creator of all of Heaven and Earth wants nothing more than to be our one true friend, our comforter and our eternal King.
Faith is tough. When you’re sick and there seems to be no hope it’s really rough. When your bank account is empty and the bills pile up, it’s hard to feel like God has it all under control. When your family lets you down and your job disappears, you can question if God really cares. But he does. We don’t have all the answers here. We don’t understand the big picture. But every moment of every day we experience the trials, the pain and the blessings all for one reason: to bring us closer to the God who created us. Every thing we go through is a stepping stone in our walk of faith. We can reject it…we can reject Him. But our problems will still be there. Walking in faith means trusting that what we’re going through now and how we react to it will impact someone else; give them hope, give them peace, give them strength…..and ultimately, grow us into the people that God intended us to be. People of faith. People who trust even when it seems impossible and improbable.