Death and Hope

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
~1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

With my grandfather’s passing today, it is tempting to fall into the shadow, to hang my head and play the part of the tragedy. But this is not the reality. The truth that takes my breath away is that I have a loving Father who has chosen to walk me and those I love through these trials this year, and somehow He has a divine plan and roles for us to play in all of this. I do not see the tapestry as a whole, but I see enough of the weaving to know that this is not random or some unfortunate chance. Rather, these coarse threads are being run by the Master Artisan who is creating a texture which will bring Him the utmost glory.

When shadows fall on us / We will not fear / We will remember / When darkness falls on us / We will not fear / We will remember / When all seems lost / When we’re thrown and we’re tossed / We’ll remember the cost / We’re resting in the shadow of the cross
~”Shadows” by David Crowder Band

This life is not all there is. If it was, then we who hope in the resurrection would be most pitiable, as Paul said. But such is not the case. This is the dream–we have yet to awake.

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.
~1 Corinthians 15:53-57

I asked a dear friend last night for advice on how I should respond to some exhaustion I was feeling (before I learned today of my grandfather’s death). The first option seemed to be to seek solace, as Jesus said to His disciples in Mark 6:31, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” And the second was to draw deeply on the Lord’s strength to pour out further, beyond what I feel I have to give. Last night, I found respite in journaling. Today, the Lord has given me the opportunity to let His power show in my weakness. May Christ be evident in the hours and days that follow.

I remember when / I stumbled in the wind / You heard my cry / You raised me up again / My strength is almost gone / How can I carry on / If I can’t find You? / As the thunder rolls / I barely hear You whisper through the rain / “I’m with you” / And as Your mercy falls / I raise my hands and praise the God who gives / And takes away
~”Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns

My God, You have been so good to me. Your love washes over me. Your grace surrounds me. In Jesus, I have all righteousness in spite of my own wretchedness. In Him, I am Your son with an immeasurable and unending inheritance in Your presence. If this storm never ends, let me stand firmly on the rock of my salvation, and let Your name be glorified.

 

Death and Hope
Saturday, February 24th, 2010
(c) 2010 Veritas Road

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