Summary: This was a celebration of the life of a woman who was ready to meet the Lord face-to-face. This person stated she was ready when the Lord called her home.
When we lose a loved one, we often have questions for God. I know you are hurting today. So, God gives us a word about hurt. Losing a loved one hurts. God understands our hurt and He encourages us to express our hurt to him.
Many times, on days like today, we try to deny our hurt or ignore it. We try to push it aside. But hurting is a normal part of losing someone we love.
Let’s admit it. We all miss _____. We’ll miss the fellowship, the daily communication with her, the impact she had on our lives. We miss her unique spirit. We’ll miss the fact that there won’t be any new memories made. But God gave each of you your own unique memories to cherish. I encourage you to share those memories with one another and in doing so, in our own way, we keep her alive in our hearts.
I can tell you as a pastor that _____ loved the Lord. One of the last things she said was that she was ready to be with her Lord and her dad and her son John and others who have gone on before her.
And there will come those days when you’ll pause for a moment and remember the impact she made on your life. Today you might think of her and the things that she taught you while you were growing up. You might remember a meal that you sat down together and ate. It might be a special day that you celebrated together.
Many of you will carry the memory of the tradition that _____ started when it came to presents. She would take any item, it could be a necklace. She would wrap it and duct tape it. Then she would put that into a larger box and duct tape that, which went into another duct taped box, and so on. So, when you got a gift, you might have to unwrap 5-6 boxes to get to the gift.
I’m sure you’ll remember how _____ loved her grandkids more than anyone I knew. _____ was like a daughter to her. And so, you know how loving she could be.
But you might also know how strong willed she was. When she set her mind on something, she carried it out.
She loved sports. Especially baseball. She loved baseball probably more than any of the sports because she and her day would watch baseball together and I’m sure it conjured up a lot of memories.
Crocheting was a passion of hers. She taught her granddaughter to crochet and she still crochets to this day. I didn’t realize it until a few days ago that when our RAs, our young boys group in the church, would hold a silent auction to raise funds, _____ donated several afghans that she had crocheted. So, even though she might not have been in church that much, she was still connected in her own way.
It’s things like these that will cause you stop and think in the coming days and years. You’ll smile. Maybe laugh. Maybe shed a tear because, deep down, there’s still that hurt of losing her.
Well God understands our hurt more than anyone. So, as we gather here today and are hurting as we think about it all, God has a word for us. God tells us, “I understand it so I want you to express it to me.” Because there is healing that occurs when we grieve. Yes, believe it or not, your sadness and grief that you are experiencing at this moment is God’s way of healing us, of making us stronger.
God also gives us a word about our help. He wants to help you with your hurt today. The Psalmist wrote, “My help comes from the Lord.” You see, Jesus promised us that He wouldn’t leave us as orphans, that He would send a helper, a comforter, to us. That comforter is the Holy Spirit. And He is here to comfort you, to strengthen you, to encourage you, and to enable you to come through this loss with faith and trust in Him.
AN OLD SONG SAYS
"HAVE A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS
TELL HIM ALL ABOUT OUR TROUBLES
HE WILL HEAR OUR FAINTEST CRY
AND HE WILL ANSWER BY AND BY."
SO, PLEASE, ALLOW GOD TO HELP YOU THROUGH YOUR HURT. He may do that by sending someone to just sit and talk with you, or listen as you talk to them. Be open to how God is going to help you today and in the days ahead.
God also gives us a word about our hope. The Apostle Paul said, “Don’t grieve like you have no hope.” We were given our hope when Jesus conquered death once for all. He showed us by example what we can expect when death knocks on our door. “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?”