I posted HERE about the sudden death of my Dad. I wrote that July 29, 2004, was the day I grew up. It was the day that the reality and finality of death became intensely personal. And yes, death is final, even for the believer. There’s no “do over” for life. Once you die, you’re gone. (Profound, huh?) God made each person unique and there is no such thing as reincarnation. You get one chance to do something for God; once chance to turn the world upside down for Jesus. This realization smacked me in the face that solemn day in July six years ago.
Today in my Bible reading, some verses in Ecclesiastes got my attention. They perfectly describe what I was trying to express in my previous post. Ecc.7:3-4 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. In our world today we have teenagers who only think of themselves. They have passion, energy and strength, yet many are expending it on their own selfish pleasures. They want to party, (yes, even Christian teens!) laugh, and spend money. Young adults are becoming Sunday morning only Christians and sometimes missing Sunday mornings to go to the amusement park, the lake or perhaps their own recliners! What happened to putting God first each and every day, but especially on His day? These verses tell us that only fools remain in the house of mirth. Wise people have been to the house of mourning – they have suffered loss – and are therefore reminded of God and His power. They fear God, and have adjusted their priorities accordingly.
Does this mean that having a good time is wrong? No, not in the least! There are times for good clean fun. But, as Christians, our joy should come from serving our Master! Nothing brings me more pleasure in life than to try to honor my King! And I need to do it more. I have such a good time being around, and serving God with His people.
I can say that I’ve been to the house of mourning, and it wasn’t fun. I did not enjoy a single moment of it. But I can now say from experience that these verses are true. I have a renewed fear of God in my heart and a fresh reminder that my time is limited. I must act now to do something for my Lord. Yes, I can say with confidence that my heart was made better and wiser because of my sorrow.