As you may recall, in May of 2010 we helped reader Mike Dickey (vcdechagn) work with his dying mother to compose a gravestone as a lasting testimony to Christ. Mike much appreciated your help. His mother was not expected to live much more than a month. In fact, she went to be with the Lord less than a week after that post.
Mike has given me permission to show you the gravestone the family ended up composing.
Mike's mother was very concerned to be a testimony to Christ. Mike showed me a letter his mother wrote an unbelieving friend. I am sure it's now a dear memento to Mike: the letter is earnest, passionate, loving, and Christ-centered. For instance, check this out, unedited:
Here is the problem as I see it, and I don’t mean to be unloving. As I read through your list I can’t help but be struck by the fact that you are setting yourself up as judge. Now, if your morals are perfect and you are the one who judges the entire world that might work. But if each person is the final judge of what is good and what is evil we are going to end up with chaos…which is exactly what we have.Then she quotes Calvin, as well as the Word! This, from a lady who knew she was dying of cancer (though she does not mention it in the letter). The sister could have been a guest-poster at Pyro.
Since God is holy then every act that He performs is holy and righteous. While I know this doesn’t satisfy your questions I think you are seeking a God that you approve of. Instead, what we need to seek is the truth. It is not about a feeling. My feelings are often wrong. It’s about what the truth is. I can identify with a lot of what you’re saying because I used to find so many things in this world that went against my understanding of what God “should be like.”
In my upcoming book of studies in Proverbs (scheduled for September, last I heard), I have an extended section on the legacy parents can and should leave their children. Financial and property inheritance are great things, but they are nothing compared to a clear and unambiguous legacy of godliness, of a professed and practiced living faith in Christ. In fact, to quote, er, well... me, from what will be page 301:
I have seen far too many parents who see to their children’s every material need, but who leave this one crucial, indispensable, all-important necessity neglected. A great many verses in Proverbs point to the blessedness of the children of righteous, God-fearing parents. “In the fear of Yahweh is strong confidence, And his sons will have a refuge” (Prov. 14:26 DJP). See also: Proverbs 3:33; 11:21; 12:3, 7, 12; 13:22; 14:1, 11, 26; 15:6, 25; 17:6; 19:14; 20:7; 24:3. Each of these verses is worth serious meditation by parents who would please God.So if you're a parent, this is your best and dearest legacy.
Such sad parents are robbed of the assurance they should have from children who have honored God by honoring them (Exod. 20:12; Mark 7:10; Rom. 13:1ff.; Eph 6:2) in the most meaningful way: by hearing, believing, receiving, and practicing the Word of God which they were taught from infancy on (cf. 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15-17).
Have you given that most precious gift to your children? Your parents?