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Monday, August 20, 2012

Put Zechariah 1:5 on My Headstone

The older I become, the more aware I am of the passage of time. Not just, "Wow, this year is going so fast. It's already August." But the perspective of looking at my five-year-old grandson, Raffi, and thinking that some day (if the Lord tarries), he'll be a grandpa and he'll look at his grandchild. The only thing is, Raffi will remember me but his grandson will not have met me. It's a sobering thought.

And I find myself looking at a twenty-something and thinking, "I know you look at me and see me as old, but someday you'll be here. So enjoy your youth. It's great!" 

As we know, time waits for no man. Every single person needs to hear the message of Zechariah 1:5: "Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?" (NASB). 

I read that verse and thought, "That would be a great sermon at a funeral." It's an applicable warning for taking heed what we do today because no one lives forever. Each day is a day of influencing for good or evil what we leave behind. 

That verse would also be an appropriate comment on a headstone. It would warn those walking by: "Just as the body in this grave wanted to live forever, so do you. Yet you won't. Be aware." 

Without a hope of heaven, such musings would cause depression. Within the last year, I've read two major books on heaven and concentrating on heaven really puts me in the right frame of mind. Yes, Zechariah 1:5 is true, but that's not the end. Those fathers (whom Zechariah says repented) and those prophets (whose words prompted that repentance) are rejoicing in heaven and saying, "I know you think of me in heaven and see me as gone, but someday you'll be here. So look forward to it. It's great!" 

Just think, there will be justice for the sex offenders that make you angry; there will be total joy that wipes away those tears; there will be understanding of why that child died; there will be unbridled worship of a great God without concern of looking foolish.

The hope of heaven can give us:
comfort: all wrongs will be righted 
courage: God knows the plan on the way to heavenly home
confidence: there is purpose in what we go through
contentment: life's struggles are temporary

I want to apply those "hopes" to my life today since I'm hoping it'll be a long time before wording is needed on my headstone or at my funeral. But if it comes sooner than I thought and I'm gone, just know I'm looking at you (if I can) and saying, "It's everything great and even beyond what you can imagine! Hang in there! It's worth it!"

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