There are so many feelings at a service like this, pain, suffering, loss, sadness, grief, sorrow and yet in the midst of it all there is this HOPE. And if there was anything that I felt so strongly at that service it was the HOPE of the Lord for those who love Him. My cousin's husband loved the Lord and loved Him deeply...he lived his life for Him, to bring Him glory. And even though our life paths barely crossed I can say that his faith was strong...it was evident in all that was shared.
On our way home from the service I was thinking of John the Baptist and how he preached in the desert, how he was the one preparing the way for the Lord to come. In listening to all the stories told at the service I kind of saw my cousin's husband in that light. He lived his life preparing the way in the lives of those his life intersected with. He lived as Christ to bring the attention to Him and not himself. Is that not somewhat of a preparing the way? And are those of us in Christ not all called to do so in the way we live our lives...in this precious time we have been given. To give HOPE to those around us.
He was a busy and giving man, always on the go. I think he packed more in his life than some pack in a life lived much longer. Any problem was seen as an opportunity...that rang loud and clear. Oh to look at life that way, what a difference it would make in our lives and the lives of others. As I've been pondering this motto of his, "problems are opportunities," I thought once again of the fall of man and how death entered this world. And there right in the garden was the first "problem," and yet it was an opportunity for God to display the most wonderful example of love and sacrifice ever given. That one so called "problem" was opportunity to breath new life into a sinful, broken and dying world. And so Jesus entered into the human race giving up the glories of heaven for each and every one of us. And in the end His life laid down for ours...He dying our death that we might have life everlasting.
And so there is this HOPE and it's not any ordinary kind of hope where you're uncertain of something, like hoping you won't get sick or you won't miss the train; no, it's the assured HOPE that only God can give and fill. Hebrews 10:23 says: "Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess, for he who promised is faithful." In times like these I'm sure it's hard to hold on to that HOPE, but it is that HOPE that gets you through and it's not always a feeling but a deliberate choice to believe what we at times don't feel or don't see. Because He who promised is faithful. How can we not trust a God who sent His own Son as a living sacrifice...the only One who could pay the price willingly. "Surely he hath borne our grief and carried our sorrows" Isaiah 53:4.
And even in the midst of pain and suffering gratitude is still given. The Pastor at the service made mention of the fact that in the past week in his time spent with my cousin and her family their prayers were always filled with gratitude to God. What a testimony to the fact that even in the worst of circumstances there is a God who loves, blesses and gives and we can't help but offer up our gratitude to Him. He is the God of all HOPE...the only one who can give that deep comfort in times of trouble.
The video below is a testimony to the life my cousin's husband lived. I had trouble uploading, I was having a "problem" and so googled to see how to do it. The help blog I came across had this quote at the bottom of the page, I thought it was very fitting: "Problems are Only Opportunities in Work Clothes." Henry J. Kaiser
One Thousand Gifts journaled for days 78 ~ 84
232. Snow forts and snowgirls
233. Silas seeing our first Robin
234. Grace when I feel I have failed
235. With a friend being able to bless someone with a gift
236. An amazing God - Provider - Giver of gifts
237. Girls cleaning the kitchen
238. The sound of winter's thaw
239. God's diverse and unique creation
241. Quiet, sunshine and the company of Clementine while doing chores
242. The love of good friends
244. Celebration of a life lived with Christ as the centre
245. A godly man who lived life to the fullest
246. Eldest son receiving a prize for a poem he had written when he was in need of funds
247. Smiley Leah in Church
248. The smell of cinnamon buns baking in the oven
249. The majesty of God's creation
250. A good nights sleep
251. A kind and helpful sales person
252. My husband's encouraging words