Yesterday, We Buried My Nephew

Yesterday, July 8th, 2011 the Thrasher family buried their dead loved one. I wrote on Tuesday of the death of my nephew and the circumstances surrounding his death. He died just 7 hours and 40 minutes before his 49th birthday. Way to early in life to die. His death could have been prevented, but his desire to drink himself to death was stronger than his desire to live and he collected his wages for that crime against his body at 4:20 PM on July 4th, the day Americans celebrate as their Independence Day.

I delivered the message at his funeral service that I wrote and posted on this blog site the day following his death. As I delivered the message it was so quiet in that church you could have heard a pin drop as I told the story of his life and of his death. There was hardly a dry eye in the place as I described for them a life that started out so full of promise but ended so abruptly with a single breath as he collected the wages he worked so hard to earn for the last twenty some years of his life.

If the story ended there it would be a sad story indeed, but just 10 minutes or so prior to his entry into eternity, he repented of his sins as my wife led him through the sinners prayer of repentance and the greatest look of peace and calm I have ever seen settled upon his face. Just a few short minutes later he would meet the ‘Great I AM” face to face as he was welcomed into eternity by a company of men such as Abraham, Isaac, and David, and for the first time he would see the One with the spear wound in His side and the nail holes in His hands welcoming him into His eternal kingdom where there would be no more pain, no more liver failure, blown heart valves and malfunctioning kidneys.

For those of us left behind to experience the loss and share the grief of his passing, there was also the knowing that the boy of nineteen I had led to the Lord and stood by his bedside holding his hand as he entered into eternity was at peace at last. And with those thoughts flowing through my mind, I led the people through the sinners prayer and you could hear people all over the building repeating the words I spoke asking God to forgive them of their sins and save them from the destruction they were bringing upon themselves from the things they were consuming in their bodies and collecting as security. The Spirit of God was heavy upon the hearts of men, women and children and throughout the room people were smiling and rejoicing while tears flowed down tear streaked cheeks as we concluded the service and closed the casket of my nephew for the last time.

If my nephew could have stood beside me on that platform yesterday there would have been a smile on his face from ear to ear as the God who saved him as a nineteen year old boy was working upon the hearts of those hard hearted people who shared in his sin and whom he loved so much. The truth is as sweet as honey going down, but oh, what it does to a person’s insides is anything but sweet. However, in the end it sets the sinner free of the sin that so easily besets us and that is what counts. DThrash


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