November 14, 2011
"He has also set eternity in the hearts of men." Ecclesiastes 3:11
Why is death so hard to embrace? I once heard a trained counselor say that it takes six to nine months--sometimes longer--for the heart to accept what the mind already knows.
My beloved father-in-law passed away unexpectedly in his sleep this past Wednesday. I loved him like my own dad. We carried him to his final resting place this past weekend. Yet the death of my father-in-law still seems so foreign, so surreal, so . . . wrong.
Though our minds recognize the finality of death our hearts long for something more. God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27) and set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Death was not part of God's design. Death entered the world on account of one--the thief who came to steal, kill and destroy.
The Good News?
Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus overcame death so that through Him we might overcome death too. Not might as in maybe. Might as in the MIGHTy power of Christ which works in us and through us as believers to present us before God as righteous (Romans 3:24).
Because of Jesus we need not grieve the loss of a loved one as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Though our physical bodies pass away, those who have trusted Christ--not good deeds or family heritage but those who have trusted Christ--to bring them into a right-standing before God will live for eternity.
Eternity. He set our hearts on it for a reason. We were made for eternity.
Have you made the choice? Have you trusted Christ to cover your sin? I praise my Father in Heaven that my father-in-law did . . . just three short months ago. My father-in-law's death reminds me of just one thing: our time here is short; our days, numbered. We must, MUST reconcile things with our maker. One day it will be too late. But it's never too soon.
The Bible says that none are righteous (Romans 3:10). All have sinned and fallen short of God's glorious standard (Romans 3:23). The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). But God so loved the world that He gave is only Son to die FOR us. That whosoever should believe in His Son should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
One day the Lord Himself will come down from Heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Until our time comes, because of his profession of faith in Christ, I know my father-in-law awaits us in Heaven with a grandbaby in each arm.
Pawpaw, you loved me as your own. As a wife to your son, a mother to your grandchildren, and a teacher to those who composed your crown, you were a continuous source of love, encouragement and support. You are greatly loved and will be missed tremendously.
In Loving Memory of RHH, 8/7/47-11/9/11