Where is Your Sting?

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The sting of death seems to permeate my existence these days…

The death of a marriage.
The death of a friend.
The death of a family member.

I suppose, with all the grief, it only makes sense for me to spend time in 1 Corinthians 15 and the 23rd Psalm. You see, I homeschool my nieces and a nephew and death has hovered around them for a few months now. Their beloved uncle, Andrew, has been suffering from melanoma for about a year. He went home to be with our Lord early Friday morning. As with Gitz, Andrew was very young.  Only 33.

I have always had a longing, a deep-seated desire, to be with Jesus. I’m not sure why, other than my love for Him. However, it could be the picture on the front of my childhood New Testament. Jesus is walking, holding hands, with many children — smiling — it appears He’s answering questions. As imagined at ten years of age, my mind takes me to the wonderful assurance of That Day when I will get to walk with Jesus. I will see Him face-to-face…on The Day He has fixed in His book.  The faith of a child…

I believe that with my whole being.
I believe I will walk with Him.
One Day.

He will call me Home when the time is complete.
When my days have been spent and the job I have to do on this earth is over.
I, too, will be with the Lord.

However, for now, I will continue to teach.  I will ask my little family members to read the 23rd Psalm with me.  I will describe Heaven in biblical terms.  They will understand that a river flows from the throne of God with trees growing on either side.  We will talk about the fruits that change every month and the leaves which are given for healing.  We will imagine what our rooms will look like and what questions we may have for Jesus.  And we will come to understand where our Hope lies. 

Our hope is not in this world, this life, this existence.

Our hope is in another place and time.

We can endure this momentary light affliction:

Ravishing cancer,
Ripping divorce,
Scraped knees,
Devastating loneliness,
Aching limbs,
Torn families,
Chronic fatigue, 
Hard labor,



The abuse of a world gone mad…

The results of sin run amuck…

We can endure, for as long as He determines.

And then…

We’ll go home.

    We’ll see Jesus.

Just like Gitz.

    Just like Andrew.

For we know…

Andrew playing with Twelve-Twenty Four

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable….For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen,

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, 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!

 

 My deepest condolences to Don, Esther, Pamela, Betty, Burton, Katie, Emily, Zachariah, William, and J.T.  We have this assurance, we will see him again.  And, for now and evermore, he is wholly complete.  Thank you, Jesus. 

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10 responses »

  1. You describing going through Psalm 23 with your nieces and nephew was so touching. What a precious blessing you are giving them in this . . .and in you. I’m so glad that you have each other at this time of the loss of your Andrew . . .and his gain of heaven. May His comfort be deep for you as you long for home and His arms. love you.

  2. Hey, Deb! We went through the Living Bible version and learned the song that goes with it. It really has been good for them to hear the meaning behind the words. Now, I must say, they sure didn’t like hearing that we’re like dumb sheep who need a shepherd…but when I explained the things sheep will do, they understood better. With Our Shepherd watching over our every need, we won’t be nibbling ourselves off a cliff anytime soon…hopefully… 😉

    I’m so thankful Andrew is not suffering anymore. Instead, I imagine he’s playing his cello in the Lord’s philharmonic orchestra. Thank you, Deb.

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. Thank you Michelle for these words. Thank you for reminding us of the truth and hope we can hold on to and feel comforted in our sadness. I know that the kids will continue to have questions and I know that you will be there to lovingly answer them.
    Over the past few days, hymns and other songs have come to me as a comfort and I know that is the Holy Spirit reminding me what and Who to focus on. Speaking to the “faith of a child”, even the simple children’s song THE B I B L E has been a comfort and I will continue to “stand alone on the word of God”.
    In William’s words of last night, “I sad.” But, I will rejoice that I did not say goodbye to Andrew but only “See you later!”

  4. Hey, Punkin…”I stand alone on the word of God.” Amen. He glorifies His name alongwith His word. He will do what He said He will do…no doubts about it. Isn’t the Spirit a Wonderful Counselor, speaking Truth to us in our most difficult times…? I’m so thankful you have the assurance of His word and His presence…

    Again, I’m so very sorry for your loss, Pamela. I can’t imagine what you must be feeling. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers and be there as often as you need. I’m so thankful we’re family. And, I understand William’s feelings…I sad, too.

  5. I’m sorry for your loss, Sis.

    Roman and I were just talking about the earthly sorrow we feel when someone we love leaves but how we can also experience heavenly joy that they are with the Savior and with the assurity that we will see them again.

    Praying for God to comfort the bereaved during this time.

  6. Thank you, Sweet Girl. I didn’t know Andrew well. His sister is my brother’s wife. She is like a sister to me…not just an “in-law”…if you know what I mean. Her kids are the ones I homeschool. I enjoy life with them all…and it has been a very difficult time for them. Even though I didn’t know Andrew well, I can see him in one of my nephews. And, I have a feeling they will all possess his talents in one way or another.

    And yes, Ayla, amen…the assurity of being with those we love once again…what a marvelous hope we have. If I never ever meet you in this life, I know for certain I will meet you in the next. Love…xo

  7. Well yes to meeting in the next life but I am pretty sure God will orchestrate it in this life time too 🙂 XO

  8. Do you see Andrew in Zach? The rule follower, wants everything just right, quiet and private but deep thoughts when they come out – tends to be anxious and scared about the unknown, cautious, can have bouts of temper, wants to be like Daddy, enjoys dressing up… Speaking of the clothes, Zach did not want to wear the suit coat unless he had a tie so I am glad that Granna had Andrew’s special cello tie for Zach! 🙂

    I see a quintet in the future – or maybe a quartet with a singer! What a nice thought!

  9. Yes, m’am, I do see Andrew in Zach. Always have. I love his quiet demeanor and his deep thoughts. When he colors I see some of my dad…but I think it’s just as much Andrew. The artistic/musical personality. He looked adorable in Andrew’s tie…I’m so glad he wore it.

    I think you’ll always have music in your life…y’all have done a wonderful job instilling song in your kids lives.

    And, I have to say it again: I’m so glad we’re family! 😀
    ♥ ♥ ♥

    It’s interesting, Punkin, I see Kellen in your description of Zach…and Andrew. A personality type that seems to depict the deep-thinkers in the world…?

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