This past Thursday morning, my wife Amy's grandfather passed away after a long and difficult battle with cancer. A few months ago, my mother-in-law asked if I would represent the family and serve as the Officiant of the funeral service. While I must admit that the thought of delivering a eulogy for a member of the family was unsettling, I was truly honored to fill that role, particularly in such a difficult time for the family.
In the days leading up to the funeral, a steady calm came over me like I could never have expected. In the previous weeks, I was truly a basket case - mostly because I was so saddened by his declining health, and often putting myself in the shoes of those closest to him. But, I asked many of my close friends to be in prayer for the family, and to lift me up to the Lord - that I would delicately but confidently speak words of encouragement to the family during this emotional time.
The Lord came through - both for the family and for me - over the weekend. While we were all heartbroken at his passing, we celebrated the fact that he is in an amazing place now - in heaven with our loving Father. There were many tears shed at the viewing and at the funeral service - tears of sadness and pain; but, also tears of pure joy, for "Paw Paw" has a new home and a new body.
In the hours leading up to his passing, and in the days following his death, my prayers were centered around the Lord providing comfort and peace like only He can. I continue to ask for that same comfort, but also for a stirring in the hearts of those members of the family who either have not met Him yet, or who recently met Him and are just beginning the journey. And, if you would, I know these folks would appreciate your prayers as well.
Because, when we join Christ's family, we really aren't saying goodbye to Paw Paw. We're just waiting to say "hello" to him again.