The tag line for this blog is “reflections on life, death, and everything in between.” If you’ve been a reader very long, you know that’s an accurate summary of the things I write about. We live, we die; and everything that we say, do, think, and believe in that incredibly brief span of time between life and death has eternal implications.
In our weekly prayer meeting a couple of days ago, we read this verse as part of our corporate Scripture reading:
The memory of the righteous is a blessing, (Prov. 10:7a)
My mom died two years ago today. She was righteous in Christ, and her memory is a blessing to me and others who knew her well. Most of my friends who visited her during her 5 year battle with leukemia told me they came away feeling like she had encouraged them more than they had encouraged her.
Mom is with Jesus now. I don’t base my confidence in that fact on sentimentalism or wishful thinking. When Mom was young she did what the Bible says everyone who wants eternal life must do—she repented of her sin, and gave her life to Christ. He became her Savior and her Master. She loved him and trusted him and followed him (imperfectly, like all the rest of his followers) until the day she died.
I’m afraid there are many who think that as long as you believe in God and try to live a pretty good life, you’ll go to heaven. I want to say this as bluntly as I can—that’s a lie. My goal in this post isn’t to preach a sermon, but if you believe something like that, I can’t urge you strongly enough to pick up a Bible and read one of the gospels. When you’re finished, you might as well go ahead and read the rest of the New Testament. It might save your life. I would love to talk to any of you reading this about what it means to follow Christ. Please feel free to contact me any time, either in person or through this blog.
But for now, I just want to say that I’m thankful for the time I had with my mom. I’m thankful that her body is no longer broken and racked with pain. I’m thankful that she is at this moment indescribably happy; she is, I believe, humbled and amazed and thrilled that she will get to spend eternity worshiping the One who gave his life for a sinner like her.
November 20 two years ago, the day mom died, was a Tuesday, just two days before Thanksgiving. There was no shortage of tears that Thanksgiving. But tears don’t necessarily preclude gratitude. And I guess what I’m trying so hard to say, as another Thanksgiving approaches, is that I’m thankful for my mom: for her life, her legacy, and even for her death, knowing that it was her entrance to unimaginable joy in the presence of Christ.
I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.