So why was I so honored?
I was honored because one of the most remarkable things we can do as Christians is celebrate the fact that life never ends. We won't always feel like celebrating. We will experience seasons of grief and mourning. We will slog through suffering. We will stay as others leave. In the end, though, there is hope!
There is hope!
I'm not promised the blessings that I currently receive. I'm not promised another day. I'm not promised an easy path. God never promises those things. In fact, the story of God's people typically shows difficult paths, shorter days, and earthly curses outweighing temporary blessings. And we should be thankful for this truth! Once we delight in ease, or longevity, or advantages we begin a careful tightrope walk between wishing on the world to remain as it is and expecting in God. Hope is expectation.
There is Expectation!
One of my favorite pieces to the funeral I spoke at yesterday was the basics of the message. People die, people grieve, people mourn, people are saved, and God delivers. God delivers hope. I didn't say it like that of course, but that is the truth that presented itself. God never promised that life would be free of pain. God does promise that we will be free. God promises hope! The expectation of His promise has been delivered, is being delivered, and will continue to be delivered.
Hope changes us!
So there beside the casket, surrounded by a crowd of whom I knew no one, there is hope!
Hope walks us through grief.
Hope allows honest mourning.
And not just in times of death, grief, and mourning, but all the time. Hope never takes a vacation. I'm reminded from a simple funeral, where I feel I received more than I gave, to look for God in every situation. I should expect God in ALL things. Why? Because...
THERE IS HOPE