Today was a day of remembering and celebrating the life of 13 year old Lydia Kizziar, who went into the open arms of Jesus on the afternoon of Saturday, January 4th, 2014. She was a beautiful young lady, who you could tell adored her Father. Lydia passed quietly from this life into Heaven, after a short battle from influenza: the H1N1 swine flu. Nothing can compare to the sorrow we face as friends of this dear one, or the joy that Jesus is experiencing, finally getting to meet and take care of one of His children.
"But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself. "
This is what Christ has done for Lydia! He has transformed her body into a glorious body that resembles Himself, only by His power. . .because her citizenship is in Heaven. She is now in her real home. The place she was designed to live in. The city that God has made for her. This was His plan, even before Lydia was born.
Most of us as humans view death as a bad thing. Something that could have been prevented "if only. . ." And then we realize, for a few weeks afterward, how short life is. We then move on and forget the valuable lesson we have just learned: until someone else dies. What we don't really realize is that death is a beautiful thing. In fact, we should change the word to 'pass'. Passing from this life, into the arms of Jesus is something that should be celebrated, awesome, and lovely. Yes, there will forever be an empty spot in our hearts, but think about the joy that our Savior has to finally have His daughter come home! Really. Think about it. God is giving us the privilege to take care of the children He has blessed us with. And yet they are really not even ours, He is just lending them to us for a period of time. They are His kids. We are His kids. So when time came for Lydia to come home, it was probably one of the best days of His life : )
"How precious in the sight of the Lord is the death (or passing) of His saints."
Another version also says," Precious in the sight of Jehovah. . ." (ASV)
"Dear in the eyes of the Lord. . ." (BBE)
"The death of one who belongs to the Lord. . ." (NCV)
"The death of His faithful Ones. . ." (CSB)
To Him, having His children come home is a precious thing. Something that is beautiful to our Lord, and makes Him happy. You would be too, if your child came back home after being away for years.
Something that I have been questioning throughout this time is, why would God take someone so young? A mere 13 year old. I keep thinking, 'she had so much potential. She had so much more of life to live.' But no. Lydia was not made to live past thirteen years old. She wasn't supposed to live until she turned 80 or 90. The Lord had already numbered her days, even before she was born. He knew exactly what time, what day, what age. And so He does for each and every one of us. He knows exactly how long I am going to live. He knows what time, what day, what age. He knows when you are going to pass away into His Kingdom. The crazy part is that we as humans don't know : ) We have no idea when our time will come to be with Him in Heaven. So why don't we enjoy the time we have with each other now, before we regret the time we didn't spend, later?
I would encourage all of you parents, to love spending time with your children, young or old. To enjoy the noise, to appreciate the tears, to get to know your kids and encourage them in their walk with Jesus.
I would ask all you young adults and children, to adore your siblings. To not just think of them as an annoyance, or bother, but a blessing that God has graciously given to you. Read to them. Take them on dates. Play at the park. Enjoy doing what they enjoy doing. Be an example of love to them. Because you don't know how long God has planned for them to be here on this earth. It may be 2 years. It may be 19. They might even make it to 40 : ) You never know. So treasure the time you have to spend with your siblings. It's a blessing.
And for all of you that are an only child of the family, I would encourage you to love on your parents. Spend time with them. Bless them with a special dinner you prepared. Make them play games with you (my favorite part!). Take walks with them. Listen to music while decorating the house with your mom, or rearranging furniture. Learn from the special qualities they possess. And just enjoy your time together.
For those who don't have any family around, find someone to love on. I'm sure there are plenty of children around where you live, that you can reach out to and bless. Spend time with them. Tell them about Christ, if they don't yet know. Hook up with a family who maybe needs a little help around the house or yard, and encourage them with your service and love. There is always someone who could use help. . .
As I was sitting in a chair at the back of the church, I was struck with how many peoples lives were touched by one life. 13 years. Probably over 1,000 lives touched, inspired, blessed and strengthened. A room only meant to hold 300 people, with about 350 jam-packed in there. People lining the walls. All there to celebrate one lovely life. To remember the years she was with us. And as I was sitting there, the pianist lead everyone in singing 'It is well with my Soul.' Everyone started singing on the top of their voice in unison. . .it sounded like angels worshipping the Father. Tears were streaming down my face, as I pictured Lydia singing with us, 'it is well with my soul.' She had made it. She ran her race well, and was sitting at Jesus' feet while we were down here crying, praying, worshipping, and remembering a life that was lived for Christ. Lydia is home.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
"But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words."
May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26) Amen.
He is worthy and greatly to be praised