Keys to the Kingdom
After 40 years of marriage, I laid my kind and gentle husband to rest on February 25. One of my earliest memories as a young child was attending the funeral of a relative on my mother’s side. From that day on, I’ve attended or provided music for hundreds of memorial services. Over the years, I’ve said, “Death is just as much a part of life as living is, but most people don’t know how to deal with it.”
Trying to stuff hurting emotions way down inside your soul is not God’s way. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount included The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:4 NKJV: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Believers need to understand that the blessing is not in the mourning, but the blessing is in the comfort you receive if you resign yourself to grieve appropriately. Jesus can’t comfort you if you refuse to mourn, because He cannot go against His own word.
God’s Word is the best source regarding the topics of death and grieving. Reading and studying the Bible teaches us how to live a holy life, and how to get ahold of “dying grace” that only comes through Christ. Thousands of songs have been written about death and heaven. Country music artist Kenny Chesney recorded a song with these lyrics: “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now.“
Those lyrics reflect a truthful sentiment, but that’s not the song I recently found myself singing upon my bed in the night. I awoke after a couple of hours of sleep and began to sing a Dottie Rambo song: “The things that I love and hold dear to my heart are just borrowed, they’re not mine at all. Jesus only let me use them to brighten my life, so remind me, remind me dear Lord. Roll back the curtain of memory now and then. Show me where you brought me from and where I could have been. Remember, I‘m human and humans forget; so remind me, remind me dear Lord.”
By day, the Lord is a continuous source of comfort, anointing our lives with His grace and tender mercies. “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me” (Psalm 42:8 NKJV). I’ve never sung a song in the night before, but I’ve never had a reason to until now.
I like King David’s meditation in Psalm 77:6 NKJV: “I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.” Believers have the choice to reflect upon God’s merciful help in the past and to trust that He will remain faithful to provide comfort and peace for the days ahead. David refused to allow present heartache to erase the reality of God’s unfailing forever love.
Jimmy’s Bible has the following scriptures underlined: “I look up to the mountains — does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the One who watches over you will not slumber. The Lord Himself watches over you” (Psalm 121:1-3,5 NLT).
The Key: If you sing a song in the middle of the night, just go ahead and cry while you‘re at it. You’ll then be blessed by God’s loving comfort and peace.