What a couple of days... On Saturday i drove almost 500 miles round trip so that i could attend my "Aunt's" "Celebration of Life" ceremony. It was both a very joyful and very somber ceremony. I had the opportunity to see relatives i had not seen in a long time. Some as long as 30 years! For me it was more of a way to show how much that all too brief summer meant to me. I told my three surviving cousins, as well as my "Uncle" (they were all actually my cousins, but it seemed appropriate and respectful to call them 'Aunt' and 'Uncle') that it was the best summer of my childhood... and it truly was. I remember the walks down the local college, the walks around town. When my younger brother tried chewing tobacco and got so sick... the chores... the goodie bags my "Aunt" made up for us on Sundays that had to last all week... i had never wanted it to end. It was my Aunt's wish that the ceremony be one of celebration and not mourning. She was known as a woman of details as her oldest daughter so eloquently spoke of. She had chosen four songs to be played (one of which i used below). Afterward we had a mini luau. This summer has been a little more... strained... for lack of a better word coming readily to mind. My beloved's on-going health problems, my "aunt", a little 5 year old girl at my former church being diagnosed with Leukemia, another church member lost her mother and then her husband a week later, my co-worker's wife is in the hospital with severe issues... all told i really do not feel that it has been all that bad... but it can add up. So when we sang "It is Well With My Soul" it really struck a cord in my heart...
It Is Well with My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. Refrain: It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control, that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and hath shed his own blood for my soul. (Refrain) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain) And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll; the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, even so, it is well with my soul.
It is always good to remind myself that no matter what happens here on Earth my ultimate security, my ultimate provision, lies not in this world. "And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment..." (Hebrews 9:27 ESV) To some that may not be a comfort... but to those who know, and are known by, Christ it means there ever after being in Heaven with Him.
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place  of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,  and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”" (Revelation 21:3-4, ESV)What more could a soul desire?