Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This sermon is for an outstanding Christian woman who died from cancer.

Elizabeth Ann Williams

September 15, 1949 –July 12, 2004

July 17th, 2004

When we think of Elizabeth Ann Williams, how can we not think of the goodness of God. For in Elizabeth God gave to us an incredible beautiful gift. The downside of receiving such a great a gift, is the tremendous and lingering loss we feel when that gift is taken back from us.

We all like to think, that we have an ownership claim on each other, especially those we love, but in reality all the people that come into our lives are borrowed from God. We all know that when we borrow something, we’re supposed to give it back to where it came from. It does not matter how long we keep it, whatever we borrow, still belongs to the owner.

In Psalms 24, the writer reminds us that “ the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” Death is the reminder, that one day we all go back to the original owner. Now some of us might think that’s a bad thing, but for those who know Jesus Christ we know it’s a good thing because of what Jesus told us. Before Jesus left this world he told us, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe God, believe also in me, for in my Father house are many mansions. I am going to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I Am.”

Elizabeth went from city to city working in property management. But this last move she made on this past Monday, was one in which she did not have to fill out any papers, sign any leases, or worry about headaches from tenants who are not paying on time. No in this new city, Jesus saw to it that all she had to do was to come on into the place that he had prepared for her and sit down. Knowing Elizabeth, she probably wanted to know if Jesus needed help managing the other mansions in heaven, but He had to tell her, “Elizabeth, you know longer have to be in charge, it’s your turn to sit back and be blessed.”

It’s one thing to die, but it is something altogether different to die in the Lord. The Bible puts it this way, “Precious in the eyes of the Lord, is the death of His saints.” Something precious happened between shifts on July 12, 2004 as Elizabeth lay in the bed. It sent tears and grief into our hearts, but God said what took place was precious in His eyes. Anything that’s precious in the eyes of God, ought to be precious in our eyes as well, because we know God is good.

We often think it’s the people who have had life easy who are the most joyful in life, but that is usually far from the case. It’s the people who have seen some valleys and climbed over some rough mountains, that understand that life is a gift regardless of the forms that it takes. Adversity was there early in life for Elizabeth. As a kid she had a brother and a sister, and the trio was known as Vicky, Pat, and Betty. When they were ages 3, 4, and 5 their mother died. That’s not something that’s easy to handle.

They were raised in a very strict setting. Instead of them allowing their situation to turn them bitter, they chose to become better, for they recognized they still had each other, and that was something special in and of itself. There bond of love for one another has seen through some really tough times. They have been a trio who have strived to be there for each other.

God poured some incredible talents and abilities into Elizabeth. The good thing is that she allow them to take route in her life and blossom. You see, God puts something special in all of us, but when we do not choose God’s plan and purpose for our lives, we take those gifts to the graves and have to face God with what might have been. No Elizabeth did not let things go to waste. She used what the Lord gave to her because she knew one day she would have to give an account for the life God gave to her. She wanted to be smiling in God’s presence eagerly expecting Jesus to say, “well done my child.”

Who was this gift of a woman. Some one and two word descriptions that her family gave of her were, a decision maker, organizer, rock, sunshine, sparkle, bubbly, sophisticated, compassionate, energetic, bubbly, energizer, spiritual, inspirational, caring, creative, magnificent, big mamma, beautiful, and nurturing. You could not be around Elizabeth for long and not be captivated by her smile and her encouragement. She simply loved people.

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