Written: Feb. 14, 2016
I’m making this a separate post, because it has to do with me. Just like I said in earlier posts, we experience so many things for the first time in the loss of a spouse. While feeling the finality of Raouf’s death yesterday in seeing the marker, I also experienced something new in relation to my own life, for it was not just Raouf’s name on that stone, but mine as well. No, thankfully, I could still see the blank space under my date of birth, but just the sight of seeing one’s name engraved on hard granite can send chills up your spine.
What does it say to me? My day is coming — was the first thought to pop in my head. Death is real — was another. One day it will be my boys coming to visit both their parents here — was a third. Such strange and morbid thoughts, but what does God say about this?
I was drawn back to a passage in 2 Chronicles 16, which looked at the life of King Asa. He had been a good king. A man who sought the Lord and was blessed by him, but in the 36th year of his reign, God reprimanded the King because he sought help from the King of Damascus instead of relying on God. Asa got mad at the Lord, and was inflicted with a disease and died still angry over the Lord’s rebuke. Here was a man who had lived a godly life, but got angry over God’s discipline — he did not finish well.
I like verse 9 of this chapter: “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…” The Apostle Paul knew the importance of finishing well. In 2 Timothy 4:7, we read: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
As I looked at that blank spot on my own gravestone, I once again committed myself to finishing well. Raouf did, and it was so well-reflected by all who offered their condolences at his passing and continue to follow his example today. I too want that cross in the center of our marker to mean something in my life. I do not want to be caught like Asa, letting down my guard and turning to other sources of help or support. I want my heart to remain fully committed to God. I want to finish well. I pray that this may be your desire as well.
Grace and Peace