“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NKJV)
It sits in the drawer of a fancy cherry-stained wooden organizer on my credenza. It is there every day … and when I open the drawer a smile comes to my face … and a tear forms in my eyes.
It’s only six lines from the local Lynchburg Times Newspaper dated March 6, 2007. There was the usual news of war and rumors of war going on in the world … there were the usual reports of City Council Meetings, sports events, and general news of what was going on in the community.
But the worn and slightly fading cutout from the newspaper bore the sobering truth of my mother’s passing! At that moment, nothing else in the ever-turning events of life and the world mattered.
Her entire life seemed to just be summed up in the words ‘… died Monday, March 5, 2007.’ Her life was so much more, and yet that’s the way God made it to happen!
My siblings and I … whether we liked it or not … we had been led to “the house of mourning.”
Was she ready to leave this world? From our perspective and those who knew her … the answer was a resounding YES! Were we ready for her to leave us? The answer is wrapped with a mixture of sadness and gladness.
Death is not welcome in most of our lives for any number of reasons that could be offered. For those who have chosen to live their lives in service to God and “be faithful unto death” … it is the doorway through which the joys of eternal rest are introduced.
But the truth must be equally disclosed that death is not welcome in so many lives because folks are not ready to meet their Maker! The wise King Solomon reminds us with the inspired truth that “… there is a time to be born and a time to die.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)
It could be accurately stated that most if not all of us are not really ready to handle this thing called “life” … until we are ready to admit and face the reality of death.
It is when we get the principle of “… eternity in our hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) that we will begin to treasure relationships in their proper perspective.
When we are little … we tend to think that life is forever! When the truth is discovered by the young … sometimes way too early … it’s a hard and difficult truth to process.
The shock of Bambi losing his mother in the first year of his life in Disney’s wonderful movie proved to be a shock to the tender eyes of the little ones, but profound in helping to understand the ‘circle of life.’
Relationships are largely what our lives are made up of … whether it is marriage and family … friends … brethren … and yes, things! And this is for the most part what Solomon was referencing in the context of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
Each of us has been richly blessed in most if not all of these relationships.
As strong and binding as each of these relationships might prove to be … they are not strong enough to excuse us from the final appointment we will all be called upon to meet. (Hebrews 9:27).
But the most significant and relevant relationship that any of us can establish and maintain is that of a relationship with the Lord! (Matthew 22:3-39)
Embracing the frailty of this life … understanding the promise from Him who made us that one day it will end … can be a stumbling block if not perceived correctly!
Life is just that! LIFE! But there is something much better planned by our Creator for those who will listen and accept His inspired Word … the dwelling place of God … Heaven.
The Apostle Paul didn’t want to miss Heaven. Just listen to his inspired words recorded in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Mother didn’t want to miss Heaven either! And neither do I.
One day, there will be a short and brief write up in each of our local newspapers that includes the words “… _____________ died.”
Life’s cords may become strong in our relationships … but they eventually will become frail through time and use!
Will you be ready for that day? Perhaps, the question should be re-phrased, “Are you ready for that day?”
The psalmist encourages in Psalm 119:59, “I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies.”
Bill Fairchild, Jr.