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This post is not about a funeral (as the photo above might suggest), and it is not really about a wedding (as the paragraph below might suggest). But both types of events play a part in describing a life principle I believe the Lord would have us understand. So please bear with me as I set the stage ...
Long ago, before I married my wife of 30 years (the woman whom God chose for me from before the foundation of the world), I was friends with a different woman but interested in more than friendship. We dated for awhile but in the end, she was not the woman God had chosen for me. She began dating another man - while I was still interested in her. This chain of events sent me into a period of sadness, as I found it difficult to accept the death of my dream.
As the relationship between the woman and this other man progressed and they became engaged to be married, I began to wonder if I should attend their wedding. I knew it would be difficult for me, and I was sorely tempted to skip the event. But I didn't want to follow my emotions, and so I wasn’t certain what I should do.
Meanwhile, I was sitting in a class in college one day (at Bethany Bible College which has since closed its doors) and one of my professors was talking about funerals. One of the things he noted was that open casket funerals, while not always popular, did provide a measure of closure for the family because they would see their family member's body and there could be no doubt that he/she had passed.
As I was thinking about this, the Lord quickly brought two things together in my mind - the question of whether I should attend the wedding and the reality that an open casket funeral provides closure.
I am not one to often say that the Lord speaks to me (in the sense of hearing an audible voice or even a "still, small voice" as some describe hearing an internal instruction from God) - I am much more likely to rely, in the absence of a direct word from God, on the Scriptures and the wisdom God grants to us through reading them.
But this was a time when I felt the Lord speaking to me forcefully (not in a voice - either audible or internal - but through the bringing together of those two thoughts at the same time).
It was as if the Lord was saying to me, "Frank, just as seeing a body in an open casket provides closure, you need to see this wedding to provide closure for your dream (of marrying the woman)."
As a result, I attended the wedding but did not attend the reception. I believe this decision was instrumental in my ability to find closure, as I witnessed my dream die with my own eyes.
Is there a dream in your life that has come to a premature end? What event is there that you can witness with your own eyes that will provide closure for your soul?
Something to ponder today.
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Disappointment with GodBestselling author Philip Yancey tackles questions Christians often wonder but seldom ask aloud. In his illuminating exploration, he uncovers true, real, and lasting hope in the midst of your darkness that will produce an even stronger faith than you had before. Included in this anniversary edition is a study guide with questions about these perplexing crises of faith that the author confronts.
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