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December 25, 2011

posted Dec 30, 2011, 8:50 PM by Olivia Russ

Finishing With Eternity In Mind

By Lisa Crum
This week's topic: Finishing Well

A few years ago, Dad’s sister Louise fell ill with what would be her final battle with cancer. Living several hours away from her, I had never gotten to see her more than once or twice a year my whole life, but my childhood is dotted with many fond memories of trips to Tennessee to stay with her and Uncle Edsel.

This particular day, since they lived near a favorite vacation spot of ours, my husband and I traveled a little farther and went to visit her. It was hard to see such a vibrant woman quickly fading to a different hue from what I was used to.

As my time to leave drew near, there was so much I wanted to say, and I knew this was probably our last time together on this earth. A lump stuck in my throat and tears began to pour out as I recalled what an incredible role model she’d been to me all through life. She was an off-the-charts good cook. She could sing and play nearly any instrument she got her hands on. She was the consummate pastor’s wife and a loving mother, and everyone loved her quick humor and contagious laugh. I stammered as I spoke the words to her, “All my life I wanted to be just like you.”

She smiled weakly, squeezed my hand, and said, “Be like Jesus, honey. Just be like Jesus.”

I’ve thought of that conversation many times since her passing, and thought of how she so easily she transferred any praise for herself on to Jesus. What a mantle of wisdom to lay across my shoulders in some of the last words she ever spoke to me. It summed up pretty much everything I would ever need to know about life.

We hold so tightly to our little plastic trophies. We keep refreshing our browsers to see if anyone “liked” our status on Facebook. We’re not too far removed from the insecure teenagers we once were, who long to be remembered as the best-looking, the most valuable player, the most likely to succeed, as chronicled on the pages of the yearbook of our lives. How ironic that what will define our eulogy isn’t what we amassed, but rather, what we gave away—in particular, those things we committed into the hands of the Father. It will be our legacy on earth and it will be the yardstick of our eternal reward when at last we stand at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ.

Jesus, in His final fleeting breaths on the cross, committed His Spirit into the hands of the Father and then declared, “It is finished.” The Bible tells us of yet another event to come, when He will place something else into God’s hands. 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 tells us that Jesus will subdue all the kingdoms, rulers, authorities of this world system, and even the last great enemy, Death. Our Jesus, the Role Model of all role models--the One under Whose feet lies everything that is or ever was—will come under the authority of God the Father in the greatest act of submission of all eternity. And of His kingdom there will be no end!

Aunt Louise knew Whose lead to follow. I’m with her…I want to be like Jesus, too.

Scripture Of The Day: "Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere." - 1 Corinthians 15:28 (NLT)