I was doing pretty well emotionally until the florist pulled out a catalog of arrangements for us to look at. I stepped away from the counter, letting my mom and aunt flip through the book. Flowers are the main thing I remember from the funerals I attended as a child. To me, flowers are supposed to be a symbol of joyous occasions and times of celebration. I needed to remember they are also used to honor someone special.The florist led us to the backroom of the shop, where she had just completed a lovely arrangement of white flowers. While my mom and aunt talked with her, I joined my dad in the adjoining workroom and noticed something sitting on the workbench. A glass vase held some flowers as blue as the water they stood in. I had no idea what color the flowers originally were, but because they had soaked up the blue water, they were the most vibrant, charming shade of blue I have ever seen.
What are you standing in? If we choose to stand in sorrow, fear, or guilt, we will soak it up like those cut flowers. It will color our outlook on life and our enthusiasm. But if we stand in God’s hand and look to Him, we will soak up His love, joy, and peace. The warmth of His love, the vibrancy of His joy, and the relief of His peace will fill us, and He will provide the hope, healing, and momentum that we need.Don’t let your “vase” be filled with the wrong thing. Stand in God’s grace, and allow Him to fill you with His love and power. Soak up His goodness, and let Him bring your color back to life.
God gave my family grace to bear the passing of my grandmother. Although it was hard, we bore it together and held a touching burial to honor her long life of eighty years. As Mark Twain's eulogy for a beloved family member says, “Good night, dear heart, good night.” (Mark Twain’s full eulogy is engraved on my great-great-great grandfather’s tombstone, just across the cemetery from my grandmother’s resting place.)