When Life Ends

Patrick and I attended the memorial service of a friend on Tuesday. Just seven weeks ago, he heard the diagnosis of stage four cancer. On Saturday, he embraced Jesus, leaving behind a wife and two children. He was in his forties. He loved Jesus. Lived a beautiful life. And wanted nothing more than to glorify Him and expand His kingdom on earth. His heart for missions was both inspiring and infectious.

So as we mourned his loss, the Lord chose to use all the words mentioned about our friend to salve and heal our hearts.(Click to tweet this).  Tears, many tears wet our cheeks. And when the final worship song gained momentum, Patrick stood, reverencing the God who called his friend home.

The memorial service reminded us both of the brevity of life, of how sacred God’s calling is to each of us, of how fleeting and temporal our time here is. It made me want to be a better Christ-follower, more devoted, more attentive, more enraptured with Him. It paled my own petty worries in light of eternity. It reignited my waning passion for missions. And it helped me rejoice to know God had entrusted us with foreign service.

This man and his family deliberately downsized so they could be ready to go on the mission field. When he found out we were going to France, he prayed for us. He longed to serve God full time like that. When I heard that again, I realized the privilege the whole adventure was. And I saw afresh, through the words of this man’s friends, the words I want spoken about me when I go home to Jesus.

I want to be called faithful, passionate, thrilled for God’s renown instead of my own, a lover of people, a devoted family member. Oh Jesus, let it be. Please, let it be.

 

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