Saturday, September 17, 2016

Finalizing the Final Affairs - Martin Wiles

Set you affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness. 2 Kings 20:1 NLT

Handling final affairs can be sobering but helpful. 

Some time before my father died, he arranged most of his final affairs. Though 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 farther. Though they each decided to keep the original burial plots they had selected from previous marriages, they did redraw their wills. Mom, too, has planned out her funeral service. The only thing we three sons will have to do is 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. He would soon die. 

A loved one’s death is taxing on a family. Having a will made so a particular state can’t take what doesn’t belong to them—or so 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 doesn’t always please family members, but having one is still more advantageous than not. 

Picking out a burial plot and then taking a trip to the funeral home to select a casket and make arrangements to pay for final affairs isn’t a bad idea either. No one enjoys facing their mortality, but already having the final details taken care of gives the family more time to properly grieve. 

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—in writing of the death of her grandchild—wrote:

Or sigh thy days so soon were terminate
Sith thou are settled in an everlasting state.

Though life is tenuous and uncertain—as is proven everyday by terrorist acts, natural disasters, and other tragedies, 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 your final affairs is prudent; making sure your life is securely in God’s care is even more so. 

Prayer: Father, knowing life is precious but brief, help us live prepared to meet You. 

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