As I sit at the table, I am thinking and praying about what to say at an upcoming funeral. My mind drifts to the idea of “ownership.” Throughout my ministry I have observed thousands of people during times of grief and loss. Why is it that some can sail through times of loss (of even a close relative) and others seem to self-destruct into anger and bitterness? Our response to life hinges on faith in God and perspective concerning ownership. Let’s begin by asking the big questions. Who really owns it all? Did I create my body? Did I choose my relatives? Will I be taking what “I own” with me after I die? If I really don’t own anything, why should I become bitter if something is taken away? So, does not really owning anything now or the prospect of leaving this earth someday with nothing bring despair? Just the opposite. If I don’t own anything, then everything I am allowed to have or experience is an act of grace from God. What I “have” becomes a reason for overflowing thanksgiving! God has given me a biological family and a church family. That’s grace. God has given me people to love and serve. That’s grace. God has given me food and shelter. That’s grace. God has given me strength and a work to do. That’s grace. On and on flows the grace from our God who never stops giving. Rather than looking at people as “mine” or things I use as something I deserve, I can choose to live in gratitude and worship to our Lord for His endless kindness and goodness. No wonder that when we get to heaven, we will join the elders before the throne and proclaim, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 5:11). Truly, it all belongs to Him! It was never “mine” or about me. Thank You, Jesus…it’s all Yours!
Pastor Mark Boucher