Queen Elizabeth continues to teach lessons

“Fear not, for I am with you; for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).

It’s been a privilege to watch excerpts from Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. It’s heartwarming to hear of her life. To see the genuine loyalty and love her people and her family hold for her. To hear of her sense of humor and quick wit. To see the evidence of a life lived well. One lived for service. She was queen for 70 years. The longest reigning British monarch.

How many 26-year-olds could rule a nation today with such grace and unselfishness?

Even amidst all the amazing splendor of the funeral, which is truly beyond my imagination, it’s the little things that stand out for me. The moments that are the most touching are the ones we can all relate to.

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The Queen’s beloved horse, Emma, ​​standing by as her coffin passes. Her faithful friends, the royal corgis Muick and Sandy, seen outside Windsor Castle as the funeral procession makes its way to the chapel.

Her great-granddaughter, Charlotte, wearing a horse shoe pin the Queen gave her. Charlotte is shedding tears for her beloved grandmother.

Her son, Charles, looking worn out and grief stricken. We who have lost loved ones know how this happens. We’re trying to get everything done and also trying to deal with grief and loss at the same time. We have checklists for our checklist. Make arrangements. Notify family and friends. Offer support to our loved ones who are also affected by the loss. Put one foot in front of the other as we travel through the days that lead up to the funeral.

Most funeral days will not resemble the day of the Queen’s funeral. And yet, they all have something in common. We all have to make it through this one day. To hold it all together while we walk through each moment. To listen to those who want to remember with us. To keep calm and carry on. It takes a toll on us whether we are royalty or mere commoners.

The Queen’s son, King Charles III, has the added responsibility of taking over the role of monarch. Most of us are not royalty. We don’t have to worry about the great responsibilities of running a country, but we also have responsibilities that emerge when we lose a loved one. They can seem just as overwhelming.

The funeral, whether regal or very simple, marks a change. It’s a saying goodbye to the one we love. It’s also a beginning. The time when we must begin to imagine a life without our loved one. It takes time. It’s a journey. What makes a difference? If we know that our loved one is truly in heaven with the Lord. That makes all the difference.

Jesus tells Martha that her brother Lazarus, who has died, will rise again. This is before He calls Lazarus out of the grave to live again here on earth. Martha agrees. She says, “Yes, he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” (John 11:24).

“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?’” (John 11:25-26).

“’Yes, Lord,’ she told him. ‘I have always believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God’” (John 11:26).

We often think of Martha as the one too busy to sit at Jesus’ feet like her sister, Mary. In Luke 10:38-42, Martha complains to Jesus that Mary is not helping her get the dinner ready. Jesus tells Martha that she is worried about many things, but Mary has chosen what is right. And what she has chosen, sitting at Jesus’ feet and learning from Him, won’t be taken from her.

And yet, Martha was listening. She knows who Jesus truly is. Her statement of faith is exactly what the Lord is looking for in each one of us.

I admire Queen Elizabeth II for many things. She promised a life of true service and she lovingly and faithfully fulfilled that promise. I also admire her long marriage to Prince Philip. But what I admire the most is her faith in God.

In a letter written to the Lambeth Conference in 2022, Queen Elizabeth II wrote: “Throughout my life, the message and teachings of Christ have been my guide and in them I find hope.”

She knew that there is no other hope except in the hope of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our time on this earth, which may seem long when we’re young, is a very short time. Ask anyone who’s lost a loved one and they’ll tell you that they wish they had more time together. It’s never enough. But if our loved one was a believer and we are also a believer, we shall see them again one day.

And remember this. No matter who we are, if we love and follow the Lord, we are royalty. After all, we are the children of the one true King. And we don’t have to say, “Long live the king.” He lives for eternity. So we need to simply keep calm and carry on in the faith until that day when we are called home.

Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at [email protected]


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