(I know this Green Sea Turtle doesn’t exactly look “happy” but since I’m the one who painted him I know he really is. :) And, I think the ocean and its bright yet serene colors make for a great “Happy Day” image. This watercolor was the design I used recently on a poster I created for one of my daughter’s friends who, of course, likes turtles!)
You wouldn’t think that going to a funeral would make for a happy day.
Mostly it doesn’t. At any funeral it is difficult to say, “goodbye” and heart-wrenching to watch some try to cope with their loss. But, in my opinion, the very saddest of funerals are those where it appears that the deceased never made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior.
Today our family went to the funeral of my husband’s Great Uncle, a sweet, funny and very brave man who was awarded not only the Purple Heart but also the Bronze Star for his exemplary service in the Second World War. His passing at 90 years of age meant the departure of yet another of what is called today, “The Greatest Generation.” This dear Uncle lived a long, full and praiseworthy life yet his passing had left me very troubled, “Did he know the Lord Jesus Christ?” I wanted to know. I was particularly concerned because I myself had not made the effort to speak to this gentleman about the Lord before he died Monday morning. If he didn’t know the Lord, not only was he now suffering for eternity but it was, in part, my fault for not speaking the gospel to him.
So, with a burdened heart, we went to the funeral and I prayed for a sign from God to be assured that this man was in the arms of the Savior. I wasn’t given an answer right away. Not until after the funeral and the lunch that followed. Then, as we were leaving the restaurant to go home, I met a family member whose pastor had clearly proclaimed the pure message of salvation in Christ alone at the service earlier. So, of course, I wanted to gently find out what she knew about this Uncle’s salvation. As we spoke, this family member mentioned her own prior concerns about his salvation and how she’d found out that, prior to being wheel-chair-bound due to Parkinson’s, he had been on his knees every day for the last five years in prayer to the Lord. Although he didn’t talk much about his faith, this was an assurance to her, and now, to me! My prayer for a sign had been answered and I could rejoice that I would (yes!) see this dear man in heaven one day!
As I said at the beginning of my post, “You wouldn’t think that going to a funeral would make for a happy day.” But, praise God, that was the case today. And this is the gospel song that played in my heart on the way home:
Oh, happy day!
Oh, happy day !
When Jesus washed
oh, when He washed
He washed my sins away!
Oh, happy day!
Oh Happy Day” lyrics by Edwin Hawkins
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