Experiencing God’s Grace at the Funeral
THE DAY OF the funeral finally came. It was Tuesday, the eighth of April… 1986, another day that was to remain indelible in my memory.
I woke up and the memory of the accident flashed through my mind. I was numb. I was not exactly sure how to welcome this event that must unfold before the end of the day. It was now a week since the terrible accident had claimed the lives of my husband and our three precious children. A drunk driver had hit us from the rear, killing all of them. I was the only survivor. The agony of watching them die was almost unbearable.
Today, I was going go bury my loved ones. Indeed, this same day I had to watch their casket being lowered into the grave. They had gone to the other world, beyond my touch, beyond my sight, beyond my reach; but not beyond my love. Oh, the agony of that moment!
Why, oh why did they have to die?
I remained calm. I knelt by my bed and praised God for the day. Next, I went to see my sister in another room. She suggested we sing aloud the praises of God. For a moment I hesitated. How could I raise my voice and sing on such a day as this – the day I was going to bury my family? I was not too sure such singing was appropriate for the day.
Nevertheless, I decided to go ahead with her suggestion for two reasons. One, my twin sister loves me. If she suggested that we sing, it must be okay for I was, by this time, an emotional wreck. I could not think for myself. Secondly, I reasoned that there could be no harm in praising God. Singing to God could not make the situation worse. So I decided to praise God on the morning of the day I was to see the casket of my husband and three children lowered into the grave.
We were on the second or third song when something happened inside of me. For the first time since their departure, I felt united with my departed loved ones. It was a feeling of closeness that is difficult to define or express. I had a vision where I found myself in heaven praising God. To my right, I saw my family also praising the same God.
My family was singing God’s praises in heaven, while I was engaged in the same worship down below. We had the same Object of praise. We were praising the same Creator. Distance was no barrier as our hearts melted into one in gratitude to the One who has made us partakers of eternal life. At that moment I experienced the power inherent in praising the Almighty God!
It was an experience that has stayed with me. I am most indebted to the Lord of Glory who compassed me with such strength. Now I can truly say “Thank You, Jesus, for taking care of me and of my family yonder. I have no adequate means of praising You, but this one life that I have shall be spent in Your service.
In Your mercy and faithfulness, show me the path that leads to Your perfect will and I will walk in it. With my whole being and all that I have, will I praise You and exalt Your wonderful name”
Dr. Tai Ikomi is an author of over 30 books and a conference speaker. She conducts seminars on the Names of God and forgiveness. She is also the founder of Forgiveness Discipleship, a training in the art of forgiveness.
Dr. Tai Ikomi