May 25, 2015
In some ways, it’s kind of nice to have a saturated Memorial Day! Instead of having a day filled up with fun in the sun, there’s a little more time to think of all those who have fought the good fight and gone on before me. They have each left an eternal foothold for me to keep climbing onward and upward towards Home! As I visit the cemetery, memories flood my mind and soak my soul of those whom I have loved so dearly and others I never knew…all who have left an eternal impact upon me!
As I enter the memorial grounds, a monument stands with the names of all those who have served in the military who are buried in that particular cemetery (including the names of several of my own relatives). I can’t help but be incredibly grateful for all those who fought so my children and I could live in freedom. Some gave their lives in the fight; while others lived on bearing the seen and unseen wounds of war. I can’t help but think of the price their families paid for our freedom, as well. Then I drive to the grave of my first husband, who lived life so fully with us and for You, Lord- even while battling a ravaging illness so bravely. He, too, lived and died for me and others to find a greater freedom in You. Then as my mom and I place flowers on other family member’s graves, I see a plaque on my great grandmother’s plot that shows she was a pioneer in the Oklahoma land run. Another plaque is on my great great grandfather’s grave as he served in the civil war and was shot in the leg while climbing a tree to get a better look for his company. The stories of all these lives and so many more family, friends and even strangers whose lives were lived in such a way to make a difference in my life…even the stories of saints in the Bible and in books I’ve read and testimonies I’ve seen and heard. Lord, You somehow use all these others to help make me who I am.
Father, You have created us all as individuals yet we are all united through Jesus Christ. So many of those who have gone on before me, might not have realized how they could possibly impact future generations. They simply lived their lives for You. Yet they are all part of my “cloud of witnesses” who urge me on towards my eternal Home with You! Their suffering, their testimony, their faith in You has left steps for me to follow… None so great as Jesus’ nail-pierced feet that call out to follow Him! He is the way! Makes me wonder, how will the future generations benefit from my life? What kind of footprints am I leaving right now? Does my everyday life follow Jesus so others will see the way?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:9-11
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself, as the chief cornerstone. In Him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22