Ms. Johnsie lived a full, productive, and sometimes difficult 90 years, here on this earth. When I think of Ms. Johnsie, I think of words like “worthy worker.” Proverb 31 describes a woman like Ms. Johnsie.
She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
When I first meet Ms. Johnsie, she took me on a tour of her farm. She said she never liked to be idle, and that if she didn’t know how to do something she would take time learn how to do it.
She showed me how she grew pineapples, grew the world largest lemons, blueberries, breed Chihuahuas, and raised puppies.
You can’t forget apples. I remember going to visit and she would be drying apples in every nook and cranny of her house. She wouldn’t let me leave without apples, blueberries, a lemon, or whatever may be in season, or in the freezer.
She liked mule city feed and always thought of others. I know a lot you have picked up dog feed, delivered at Ms. Johnsie’s.
I can honestly say, I know a lot of hard working people. Ms. Johnsie makes the top of the list. We worked hard not out of greed, but to shared with her family and friends.
But you know that Johnsie did not complain, but instead she pushed on as she always had. She was always a glass 1/2 full kind of lady. Two weeks ago, in her hospital room, she told me how everyone had been so good to her. How they asked and brought her everything she needed. She didn/t every complain about the hospital food. SHE SAID I DON’T KNOW WAHT IT WAS BUT IT WAS GOOD!
She shared with me how tough her life has been at times. How her daddy helped her start a new life and new career.
She used to say she worked 12 days a week. 5 days a week on one job and 7 days a week on a second job.
She worked passed retirement age, and when she finally retired congress passed a law that reduced her social security, by 2/3, because she received a government pension. She knew that it was not fair that she worked 40 years in a government job and in a private sector job, only to have her retirement reduced because she worked hard. It didn’t help else the disappointment that congress gave themselves a raise that year.
Today She her rest does depend on an government program that can be changed. Last Monday Ms. Johnsie began receiving a full retirement package.
Thinking of her life and death, I immediately thought of
And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”
The “rest” described in this verse pictures a world-weary sailors who have spent their lives at sea and finally reached their home port. The word, “rest,” means refreshment, renewal, and rejuvenation,” or the absence of struggle and persecution (David Jeremiah, When Christ Appears, 162).
The labors of the life she lived serving others, while following Jesus, produced eternal rewards. Rest doesn’t mean inactivity, but labor without struggle. She is busy worshipping Jesus, while watching the products of her toil on this earth enter heaven.
Remember Johnsie’s faith in Christ, during good time and hard times. Remember her witness and how she taught you to trust in Jesus for life eternal. Her labors are not in vain, as she watches you live by her example of trust in Christ. One day, when she welcomes you in heaven, she will see her deeds following her into heaven.
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
1 cor 15
Paul reminds us what we should do now.
· Stand firm, letting nothing move you from your faith in Christ Jesus.
· Give yourselves fully to God’s work.
· Know that God’s work is not in vain.