Maybe it is the fact that death seems to be more the topic of conversation, on every news cast, or the fact that we have a real pandemic around us that is killing some, or maybe it is that I just finished reading the memoir of my dear friend’s late husband, that has me wondering what would be said in my obituary.
What will people say about my life when I die, but even more importantly is what will God say about my life.
“On loan from the Lord”, by Erika Seibert, is such a God-honoring memoir of her late husband, Josh Seibert. It shows how a life can truly be used for God’s kingdom, even when that life suffered immensely from a cruel cancer that took him at the young age of 37. Josh’s life is a testimony of faithfulness to the Lord, to his family and to his church.
He suffered much, yet he had so much hope. Though he was ravaged by cancer, his thoughts were on glorifying the Lord with all that he had. His brief life and fight with cancer give us a glimpse of what Paul was saying in Philippians chapter 1, verses 21-23, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose? I do not know. I am torn between the two.”
He wanted to continue to live for his beautiful wife, their two children, and for his wonderful church in Oregon. He faced many adversaries, yet with his dying breaths he was proclaiming Christ to those who would listen. This man, though he knew his rare cancer was killing him, took time with his wife to witness to others in the cancer ward so that they may find eternal hope and peace.
They spoke of the hope they had in Christ and eternity though his earthly prognosis was devastating. His life was not wasted on worldly things, but rather he used his life to honor Christ.
Have you ever taken the time to read the obituaries?
When reading obituaries, you see how short life is. You see wasted lives, lives really lived, lives that have missed the point and are so painful, and lives that are used to truly glorify Christ.
What a difference in how Josh’s obituary/memoir reads than many of the ones I have been reading in my local paper recently. The hope you get when reading his story is vastly different than the devastating obituary of a young man who struggled with his identity and never found true hope and lost his life too young.
The whole obituary reads of pain and sorrow, and even in death there was no hope for him. It was enough to bring tears to my eyes as I could almost feel the pain and despair the family must be feeling, not to mention the eternal suffering that person would be going through.
What will you be remembered for?
Our days are numbered. In the of book of Psalms, chapter 139, verse 16, we are told that God’s “eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” We are only given so many days on earth and our last day is known to God before we even take our first breathe.
What are you going to do with your days? When this life finishes and you have passed away, what will we say about you? Will your friends talk about your job, your house, your possessions, that you were popular and the life of every party, or that you could hold your alcohol?
Or will they talk about how you used your life to honor God, to live life to the fullest by worshiping the king, not wasting your time on worldly things, but to bring glory to God and that now you are walking with him more alive now than you were when you walked on the earth?
Is your obituary going to be Christ centered and God honoring, reflecting the life you lived or will it be filled with worldly, yet temporary accomplishments?
Genevieve Wilson is Canadian. a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.