There is a funeral to be attended tomorrow. It is for the son of a friend. Those of us who knew him and know the family are grief-stricken. He is a fallen warrior. But he is more. He was and is an adopted son of the Most High God. We mourn for him here. And yet, he lives in God and with God, in His intimate heavenly presence. We are assured we will see him again, for he knew who God was and had asked Him to be his Savior and Lord through the sacrifice on the cross of Jesus Christ. He has simply gone on before the rest of us.
Mourning will always be when someone we love suddenly disappears out of our lives. The Bible tells us even God is well-acquainted with grief. It is He who created us with an emotional make-up, which would need to grieve when there was loss. He also knew grieving would not be easy. But simultaneously He knew our separation from these loved ones would be temporary, for He sent Jesus and knows that death is not the end, but a door to the eternity to come.
We need to change our attitude toward physical death. This is key to walking in the freedom God has for us both now and forever. Grief will remain, but we no longer need to walk in fear of death or structure everything we can so as to avoid it (or pretend physical death is not eventually coming for each of us).
Before Jesus was born, lived, died and rose again, there was no hope. Now we live in hope. We do not have to structure our lives with a view of dread toward death, but in the peace and joy of a view toward eternal life. Indeed, physical death is a door we will each pass through. How we long to stay with those we love here! But God is waiting to embrace us even closer when God draws us from this life to life with Him in heaven. The separation will be for the blink of an eye.
Lord, comfort those who mourn. Lift all of our eyes to You. Help us see our lives from Your viewpoint from here to eternity. By Your Spirit encourage us to live in the hope which You alone offer us day by day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 Cor. 15:54,57 (NIV)
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”… 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Tim. 4:6-8 (NIV)
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]
The above devotion is written with highest regard and gratitude to LCpl Joshua “Chachi” Corral who gave his life defending our freedom in Afghanistan on November 18, 2011. May the seeds of faith he planted while here for his Lord and Savior bear mighty fruit which brings a huge harvest into the Kingdom of God. May the testimony of his faith and the difference it made in his life here and forever cause many come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord through his life and death. May the story God wrote with his life, go on to produce more good fruit. We wait for the day we will see him again in eternity. We ask God to comfort his family. Well done, warrior. We salute you. We miss you. We will never forget. ~ Elizabeth