I believe – A change of Life, A most comforting Eulogy

“A change of Life.”  This  most fitting title came with the Email sent by Holly’s husband, Jeff, at the time of Holly’s passing.

On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, the Lord summoned Holly Overduin from her earthly house to the eternal home He had prepared for her. She left this life confident in the goodness of God, shown to her in Christ Jesus. (from her obituary)

I am compelled again to post about my daughter Holly.  The topic of my blog is intended to be on  World View and Ethical Issues from a Biblical Perspective.   Holly’s illness and passing  from life to live has given opportunity to contemplate severe illness, dying and death from a Biblical perspective.  How are we to think about life?  How are we to think about death?  How are we to think a bout God in the midst of such struggle?  In my post about Holly, I hope that I have begun to answer these questions from a Biblical perspective.  You can find these posts at  <I Believe>.

Holly and her husband were reading the classic book, Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegory that walks through the Christians Life.  When Jeff Emailed about Holly’s passing he wrote,

I was privileged to finish reading Pilgrim’s Progress (we had started it some months ago together) to her earlier this morning, and as it talked about Christiana and the many other pilgrims that joined her and her children, as they each received the summons to meet the Lord, it described Mr. Standfast’s death as a “change of life.”  By God’s grace, that’s what it has been for my dear Holly.  He is good….always.

From on the funeral program, we read,

Holly’s Eulogy from husband Jeff Overduin. (Taken from John Bunyan as paraphrased by H.L. Taylor in the book, Little Pilgrim’s Progress, page 256. Slightly revised by Jeff.)

I can only tell you of the departure of one more pilgrim. The pilgrim by the name of Standfast had hoped that she might be allowed to spend a long life working for the King, but this was not the Master’s will. The King had desire for His faithful young servant in the Celestial City, and very soon she was summoned to cross the River.

At first Standfast could scarcely believe that the King really wished to receive her into His own Palace, but the Shining One assured her that it was true.

“You have served My Master very faithfully,” said he, “and He is not willing that you should be living at a distance from Him any longer.”

So Standfast prepared for her last journey and gave Greatheart, another Christian and pilgrim under- shepherd, many messages, for she hoped that the guide would perhaps some day meet with others of her family who might be following in her steps. The River floods had gone down before this time, and the water was very still and calm. When Standfast reached the middle of the River, she turned and spoke once more to her friends.

“This River makes so many people afraid!” said she. “Indeed, I was frightened myself before I entered it. But my fear is gone. I can feel the firm ground under my feet, and very soon I shall be with my Prince. It has been very pleasant to hear of Him and think of Him, but now I shall see Him with my own eyes. He has helped me and strengthened me all through my pilgrimage, and He is with me now.”

Then the other pilgrims saw, that as she turned again toward the City, a beautiful light fell upon her face. And in the clean air they could see quite across the River and were able to watch the multitude of Shining Ones who came down to receive the faithful pilgrim and lead her into the presence of the King.”

The Funeral message was on Psalm 16.  The text, from verse 11, says, “at your [the Lord’s] right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  Heaven is at the right hand of God and there there are pleasures for evermore, something to truly look forward to.

At the Interment Service we sang a most fitting song titled Alive, Alive, as follows,

Alive, alive, alive forevermore
My Jesus is alive, alive forevermore
Alive, alive, alive forevermore
My Jesus is alive

Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah
My Jesus is alive forevermore
Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah
My Jesus is alive

This was followed by Psalter 420:5 (from Psalm 68),

Let God be praised with reverence deep;
He daily comes our lives to steep
In bounties freely given.
God cares for us, our God is He;
Who would not fear His majesty
In earth as well as heaven?
Our God upholds us in the strife;
To us He grants eternal life,
And saves from desolation.
He hears the needy when they cry,
He saves their souls when death draws nigh,
This God is our salvation.

It is a great comfort to all of those who love Holly that all of this is hers.  It is hers because she had saving faith and believed all these things.  Because of this, she died well.  Yes, there was struggle, but it was well with her soul.

There is a beauty in this that should leave you with a desire to, one day, receive the same thing, and a desire for, a least, a glimpse of it now!  Do you have this desire?

Holly would be one of the first ones to tell you, it was not because she was a great person that she was able to die well.  It is because she loved the Lord God.  Because she loved Him, she followed Him.  She loved to sing, even in her days of sickness, “Have thine own way Lord, have thine own way.”  She would be the first to tell you that she loved the Lord God because He first loved her. (1 John 4:19)  And that she was a sinner saved by the grace of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Given opportunity, she would say, “taste and see that the Lord is good.”  (Psalm 34:8a)  In the death of her earthly body, she has been give this opportunity.

So, in the face of life and death, “let God be praised with reverence deep….this God is our Salvation.”

May He be yours too.  Seek this God, the Lord God while He may be found.  If you have not come to love Him before you die, it will be too late after you die.

I hope to follow this with a short posting on how to begin to taste and see that the Lord is good.  Now posted — I Believe – Taste and See the Lord is Good

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This posting has focused mainly on the Lord and Holly.  I think it is fitting to share an exert from my facebook page that points to this blog.  (my facebook page)

In a way, Holly’s siblings are speaking that same thing, as they walk through this time with Holly. Those who have had opportunity to read some of their facebook posts will have experienced this. This is a testimony of the work of the Lord, as he molds and shapes the “hearts” of each one of our children. What a blessing in the face of serious illness, dying and death.

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