“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Proverbs 9:10 (NIV)
Funerals are never easy to attend, but when we know beyond a doubt that the person we are there to remember is now sitting at the feet of our Savior, we can find comfort and inspiration to live a more godly life. My friend Kimberly was just such a person whose life inspired others, even now after the end of her five-year battle with cancer.
At her funeral this past Saturday, the pastor read a testimony Kimberly had written just a few months ago. In this piece, she talked about her battle with pancreatic cancer and how it changed her life. In her testimony, she did not complain or shake her fist at God. Instead she said:
“By allowing our family to go through this trial, God has removed our prideful sense of control and refocused our trust in Him. There is a quiet, gentle spirit of peacefulness in knowing God is in control of our lives. We found beauty in the ashes and blessings in our tears.”
Kimberly understood what it meant to humbly rely only on God. She was a woman who loved reading and meditating on God’s word, which gave her understanding from her “knowledge of the Holy One” as Proverbs 9:10 tells us. She gained wisdom, however, by going through the trial of cancer, because she applied her knowledge of God’s word by trusting that He was in control, which is part of living out Proverbs 9:10.
Fearing the Lord is trusting Him, knowing He knows what is best for us. And to do this, we have to be humble. We cannot rely on our own understanding, which is finite compared to God’s infinite understanding. Psalm 147:5 tells us, “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” God sees and knows all; we do not. When we hand the reigns of control back to God, we find peace.
Kimberly’s fight with cancer has always been close to my heart because she was my friend, but also because I believe she was a miracle survivor these past five years. To see her victory at the beginning of her illness meant a lot to me, because my mom, almost 12 years ago, was a victim of pancreatic cancer and she lived for only eight months. It meant so much to me to see Kimberly beat her illness, even if for only five years. I’m thankful God gave Kimberly those five years because she shared the wisdom she learned from the Lord and she gave us all an example of how to live for Him.