Tuesday, April 04, 2006

God shall wipe away all tears

I've been pondering death lately. My grandfather recently died--the first of my grandparents to do so.

Nothing seems to quite sober a person up like the recognition that we all die. It leads me to consider the most important things in life. It also tends to remind me that my time on earth is limited. Being a young person, I'm sometimes liable to believe that there is unlimited time in life with which to do things, but this is not so. As Hebrews tells us, it is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment. This is one appointment I cannot escape, so instead I must be wise and prudent in my dealings here because they will one day be called into account by the Lord.

These times also call me to consider the words of God on the subject. I'm reminded of Andy McIntyre's comment about the song "It Is Well With My Soul": "But, even that, even the inevitable end of all men, even the grave whose gluttonous mouth is never full, never satisfied, caused him no fear or trepidation, for he had learned from His Lord that it is the welfare of the soul which holds the key to the meaning of life and its ultimate fulfillment." You can always tell those who are good with words because their phrases stick in your mind. That's how it is with that phrase "the grave whose gluttonous mouth is never full" is for me. What a great personification and yet so true at the same time. My mind immediately wanders to the consideration of what the serpent said to Eve: "Ye shall not surely die." and how wrong he was. What greater testimony that the words of God are true but thousands of years of people never escaping death? My grandfather died, my dad will die, and eventually I will die too. What a great backdrop of hopelessness this provides; there is no escaping death.

It is only against such a great blackness that the redemption of Christ can shine so brightly. The statement in Revelation now brings much joy to an otherwise dark situation: "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." That gluttonous mouth that was never satisfied will finally be closed! That final enemy will at last be crushed, and we will rein with Christ forevermore. This is the great hope of the Christian.

I will miss my grandpa. I thank God for the spiritual heritage he left me through my mom--that faith that God will eventually wipe away all tears from our eyes. That faith that allows me to loudly proclaim with Paul:

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

1 Comments:

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Andrew McIntyre said...

Amen Swinder. Please accept my sincere sympathies on the loss of your grandfather, and thank you for the kind words.

 

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