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Listen while you read: "The Master Hath Come"1 (Lyrics)
2 Kings 20:1 – About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: "This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness." (NLT)
Handling final affairs can be sobering but helpful.
Before my father died, he arranged most of his final affairs. Although he never went to the funeral home and selected a casket, he did have his order of service mapped out, as well as a burial site selected. This made it much easier on Mom and us boys when he died.
Later, when Mom remarried, she and her new husband went even further. Though they each decided to keep the original burial plots they had selected from previous marriages, they did redraw their wills. Mom, too, planned out her funeral service. The only thing that we three sons will have to do is to choose her casket.
Finalizing one's final affairs isn't pleasant, but it's wise. King Hezekiah came face to face with his mortality when he became deathly ill. Isaiah the prophet visited him and told him to set his affairs in order. Death was coming.
Losing a loved one taxes a family. Having a will made so that the government can't take what doesn't belong to them — or so that the family members won't get bottled up in legal wrangles as they divide the loved one's estate — is vital. What a will states does not always please family members, but having one is still more advantageous than not.
Picking out a burial plot, selecting a casket, and arranging to pay for final affairs isn't a bad idea either. We don't enjoy facing our mortality, but having the final details taken care of gives the family more time to grieve properly.
Whether we want it to be or not, life is brief — even when it's 80 or more years. Anne Bradstreet, one of the two major poets from Puritan America, wrote of the death of her infant grandchild:
- Blest babe, why should I once bewail thy fate,
Or sigh thy days so soon were terminate
Sith thou art settled in an everlasting state.
Life is tenuous and uncertain — as is proven every day by terrorist acts, natural disasters, and other tragedies — but we don't have to live with fear. Bradstreet concluded her poem with the line, "Is by His hand alone that guides nature and fate."
Planning our final affairs is prudent; making sure that our lives are securely in God's care is even more so.
Prayer: Father, knowing that life is precious but brief, help us to live prepared to meet You. Amen.
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Thank you, Martin, for this important reminder.
Very good and reassuring words in your devotional writing today. Blessings for the thoughtful writings you do.
Thank you for sharing this timely reminder to be considerate of our families when we craft our last will and testament. Updating our insurance policies is also a considerate thing to do. Blessings.
A great reminder of what is important in our lives. It is important to take care of affairs for others and it is important that we live a life focused on Jesus.
Thank you for always being willing to share and taking the time to do it. May you have a blessed day.
Good afternoon, Martin,
Actually my wife and I arranged EVERYTHING many years ago. I have even written my own obituary. We arranged with the chosen funeral home, so the cost is fixed.
It was a chilling experience, but we saw the confusion when my mother-in-law died. We wanted to make sure that our children would not have to worry about that.
Thank you for this good reminder to many people