"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" John 11:25 (KJV).
Four years ago my husband and I took my mother to Westminster to place flowers on her late husband's grave. Walking through the old cemetery, I read the grave stones along the path to where my stepfather lay. Some of the markers were so old that the engraving was barely discernible.
Arriving at Charles' grave, we saw that the beautiful granite vase topping the double heart headstone had split nearly in half. That granite stone had marked Charles' resting place for more than three decades. The years of heat, ice, snow and rain had finally taken their toll. It reminded me that nothing in life is permanent.
Mother missed my stepfather deeply through every one of those years. It broke my heart to hear her whisper, "It won't be long now, darling, and I will join you." The words that Jesus spoke in John 11:11 came to mind and I gently reminded mother that Charles only "slept," as Jesus told Mary and Martha before calling their brother, Lazarus, out of the grave. Though he were dead, yet shall he live.
We prayed, as mother placed the flowers she had brought in the broken vase. The damaged vessel was now transformed into something beautiful. What a special reminder of how Jesus conquered death. He fills our broken lives and makes us beautiful vessels of honor. He gives us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, and expectation of eternal life with Him.
Thank You, Father, that through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, anyone who believes can have eternal life.
© 2012 E. Bonnie Ryan