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Summary: Funeral message for a Christian lady who died of cancer.

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He wanted to live – we all do. But he also wanted to be with Jesus in heaven. You know, suffering shows a person what really matters. Suffering makes a person long for something better. Suffering causes us to look beyond what we see, and reach for what we cannot see. Suffering and pain and loss and hurt and heartache bring about a craving for the eternal. If it were not for suffering, I think we would be far too content here on earth, and never give much thought for a place that has no crying or dying.

I saw this in Ruby. When she first started going for treatment, she had such a calm assurance that things would be OK. She knew that the thing was in God’s hands, and it was. It was never out of God’s hands. But what it did was drive Ruby to pray, which is never a bad thing.

Which is also where the 2nd part of that verse comes in. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Even though this is happening to me, I’m still going to trust Him. Even though my eyes can’t see what’s going on, I’m still going to trust Him. Even though it feels as if my whole life is shattered and my body aches and my heart hurts with loneliness, still, I will trust Him.

There is a story of a doctor that went to visit a very sick man, back in the days when doctors made house calls. The doctor took his dog along with him, and the animal waited outside, barking every once and a while to remind his master that he was there. The man said, “Doc, I’m scared. What can you tell me about death? What’s on the other side?” The doctor said, “I can’t tell you much.” Then he got up and opened the door. His dog bounded inside, leaping gratefully all over his master. The doctor continued, “My dog has never been here. He had no idea what was on the other side of this door. All he knew was that his master was on the other side. I can’t tell you, friend, exactly what’s on the other side. But I know that my master is waiting there.”

Folks, trust that suffering will end. Trust that there is more to this life than what you can see. Trust that eternity’s blessings far outweigh this world’s problems. Trust that suffering is not just a waste of time, and that it can actually make you stronger. Trust that God rewards those who trust in Him.

I want to share in closing a poem, based in Job 13:15, written by a lady named Mary Kimbrough:

“Though He slay me, I will trust Him,”

Said the sainted Job of old;

“Though He try me in the furnace,

I shall then come forth as gold.

“Though the ‘worms of deep affliction’

Cause this body to decay,

In my flesh I shall behold Him —

My Redeemer—some glad day.”

“Though He slay me”—can I say it

When I feel the searing fire,

When my fondest dreams lie shattered —

Gone my hope and fond desire?

“Though He slay me, I will trust Him,”

For He knows just how to mold,

How to melt and shape my spirit —

I shall then come forth as gold!

(Our Daily Bread, January 3, 1995)

1 Peter 5:10-11

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

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