Yesterday, I performed the funeral for a long-time member of Lanier Christian Church, Carol Scott. She has now achieved the goal of our faith, the joy of heaven. For the Christian, I see each funeral service as a mixture of heartache and victory. Heartache for us who lose a loved one, but victory for the one who has crossed over into eternal life. It's much like the psalmist who said: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)
On this side of heaven, even the Christian may experience suffering and pain. We live in a broken and sinful world and often suffer the consequences of that brokenness. It leaves us to wonder at times if pain and challenge and difficulty are worth it. However, may we as believers in Christ, have a more heavenly minded attitude, no matter what we may face on any given day. Remember, we do live by faith and not by sight!
The apostle Paul faced many challenges throughout his ministry, including deep suffering. He said in Romans 8:18 - "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." In other words, the best is yet to come! Heaven and its wondrous peace and beauty awaits for those in Christ. In the meantime, I often think of the words of Max Lucado:
"God never said the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile!"