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.
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:
The abuse of a world gone mad…
The results of sin run amuck…
We can endure, for as long as He determines.
We’ll go home.
- We’ll see Jesus.
Just like Gitz.
- Just like Andrew.
For we know…
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.