Mourning One Man’s Death Brought a Boy Eternal Life

Would you rather attend a party or a funeral? Seems like a silly question. Yet King Solomon wrote about the value of visiting a house of mourning.

Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties” (Eccles. 7:2 NLT).

Last month offered me more funerals than parties. Four friends lost their husbands. The Last two years have provided many opportunities to mourn. Mourning certainly doesn’t feel good. So why would the wisest king who ever lived say spending time at funerals is better than going to parties?

Why would the wisest king who ever lived say spending time at #funerals is better than going to #parties? Share on X

Those old enough to remember when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated probably remember where they were when they heard the news. Like 9/11, when American Airline planes flew into the twin towers, tragic news forever engraves itself into our minds.

Kennedy’s death shocked the world. Our country mourned the tragic loss of our leader. Questions swirled like dust in a sandstorm.

  • How could this happen?
  • What will happen to our nation?
  • What will happen to Jackie, to Caroline, and to John Jr.?

My husband Larry’s questions took a personal turn. What happened to President Kennedy? What would happen to Larry if he died?

Mourning Leads to Wisdom

Larry tossed and turned that night in bed. Realizing trying to sleep was fruitless, he tiptoed into his parent’s room and gently shook his father’s shoulder. “I can’t sleep. I’m afraid.”

His dad got up and asked what troubled him. Larry shared his concerns. If something this bad could happen to President Kennedy, a powerful man guarded by secret service, where did that leave him? What would happen if his life ended?

Larry’s dad reminded him of John 3:16.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life” (NIV).

Larry and his father got on their knees together, and Larry asked Jesus to be His savior. Our nation’s loss became Larry’s gain.

Consider the rest of Solomon’s words.

Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.” (Eccles. 7:2-4 NLT).

Attending funerals reminds us that this life is short. Everyone dies. Our fleshly bodies will give out. Funerals remind us to prepare for and live in light of eternity. Have you secured your future?

I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (Jn. 11:25 NLT).

Comment here.


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  1. J.D. Wininger

    How has death impacted my life? I thought about this question as I read, and beyond my Lord and Savior, and His prophetic fulfillment, I would say that death and mourning has only cemented the fact that this (human) life is short and can be taken away in an instant. With all the violence and the marked lack for the sanctity of life these days, it seems more certain than ever that our human life can be ended at any moment and at any place. Christ’s death paved the way for my eternal life through salvation. Death no longer concerns me. While I will do my best to prevent it, believing that God is not yet finished with me, I no longer fear the moment that I lay this old “dirt suit” down and take up my glorified, eternal body upon His upward call.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, J.D., for sharing your experience. Solomon was right. The death of others reminds us life will end and we don’t know when. But Jesus offers eternal life to all who come to Him. Hallelujah! What a Savior.

  2. Connie Jo

    Thank you for sharing this Debbie. I am glad salvation can come from tragedy. God doesn’t waste anything. So glad Larry’s father was able to comfort him and guide him to the Lord. What a blessing!

    • Debbie Wilson

      “God doesn’t waste anything.” Thanks, Connie Jo. What hope that brings us in our confusing circumstances.

  3. Mary Geisen

    This is beautiful, Debbie! I love that one man’s death (JFK) is God’s gain. What a blessing to be a member fo God’s family.

    • Debbie Wilson

      A blessing and blessed hope! Thanks, Mary.

  4. Jeannie Waters

    Death and funeral attendance leads to thoughts about mortality and eternity, but they also prompt me to consider my goals and how I spend my time. We forget how short earthly life is. At funerals I pray for those in attendance who do not yet know Jesus.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Excellent, Jeannie. Your prayers are ministering to people you probably don’t even know. And funerals are a good time to consider how we spend our day. Thank you!

  5. Ann J Musico

    Considering I am closer to the end than the beginning, I do think about it more often and I’m grateful to know where I will go.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! Me too, Ann.

  6. Nancy E. Head

    Amazing events mark our lives. Those events teach us that our days are numbered. Eternity matters more than earth. Thanks, Debbie. God bless!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Nancy. The world seeks to distract us from the reality of death and eternity.

  7. Sylvia Schroeder

    My dad was 47 when I was born. He quoted Solomon’s words often, as we seemed to attend a lot of funerals…at least as a young child I thought so. Looking back, I can see the blessing it was for me to accompany my parents as they mourned for others. Thank you for your thoughts, and I am sorry you have lost so many loved ones recently.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Sylvia, I think that was very wise of your parents to introduce you to this side of life so early. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Joanne Viola

    What a precious story, Debbie. It teaches us how to not dismiss the concerns of a child, even in the middle of the night. May we recognize when we have been given these opportunities, for they are critical ones for sure. Blessings!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Joanne, that’s a wonderful take away. Thank you

  9. Yvonne Morgan

    Such events do impact our life and faith so much. Thanks for sharing this great message Debbie

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes they do. Thank you, Yvonne.

  10. Tammy L Kennington

    Death impacts us whether we know Christ or not. Funerals are such an opportunity to reach others for Him.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes. It’s so encouraging when one person’s death brings another eternal life! Thanks, Tammy.

  11. Lisa Robbins

    I had a similiar experience. When I was in high school my cousin and his girlfriend died due to a horrific car wreck. I longed to be ready to meet Jesus in the case of my own death. God used this along with other events to bring me to Himself.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh Lisa, that is very hard. I’m so sorry for your loss and thankful God used it for you eternal good.

  12. Annie Yorty

    Your husband’s testimony is beautiful, Debbie, especially the part about his father leading him to God with his fears. I think about my own dad, who lost three siblings in a car accident when he was a teen. I suspect no one pointed him to God in the aftermath. To my knowledge, he never trusted Christ for salvation. I pray God keeps us vigilant for opportunities to guide those affected by grief directly to our Comforter.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh, Annie. How tragic. Grief does cause us to search for answers and is a perfect time to discover the God of all comfort. I’m so sorry to hear no one was there for you father.

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