Friday, August 15, 2014

The Trip

Over a week ago, we took our oldest daughter to the airport to begin her trip to France.

We were so thrilled she had this wonderful opportunity and waited to hear the stories of her travels.

One of her comments was, "It's hard to overstate how beautiful Paris is."  She spoke of the incredible
food (but I'm glad she likes my crepes better,) and the ages-old architecture.  She talked of the moving experience at touring Normandy.  "You just can't describe ten thousand American white crosses all in the same cemetery."

Photo by Marie Davis
In the weeks before her trip, we were excited with her and for her as she shared the evolving plans of her twelve days in Paris. We listened to her describe each leg of her journey, so happy at the sites she would see and the experiences she would have.

As Christians, we each have a wonderful, exciting journey ahead of us, too.  Each one of us will at some point journey to our eternal home.  But when we know that trip is near for one of us, we don't tend to respond with joy.

A group of my friends were discussing this thought this morning.  Someone mentioned a mutual acquaintance whose husband has terminal cancer and the prognosis is very poor.  Our mood was immediately sad.

Photo by Marie Davis
But shouldn't it have been just the opposite?  This dear one is facing the most amazing journey anyone can ever take.  He will soon see things his eyes and ears could not imagine.  He will know peace and joy in ways we could never dream of here.

He will see his God.  

Now that is exciting!  This thought far and away exceeds our excitement for our daughter's trip.

While we will of course mourn the loss of our loved ones, we should affirm, remember and remind each other when the death of a saint is near, the great journey -- the great eternal journey -- this loved one is about to begin.

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. (Psalms 116:15.) 

Photo by Marie Davis
If the death of a saint is precious in the sight of the Lord, it should be precious to us as well.  As I said this morning, "it's not as if we aren't going to see him again."  For believers, death has no sting and the grave no victory.  We have everlasting life, more glorious than we can even begin to imagine ahead of us and we will spend it together.

Now, I am not unfamiliar with grief and mourning.  Both my parents passed away within four months of each other.  Even now, seventeen years later, there are times the grief comes washing over me like a surprise tidal wave.  But my grief is for me, for my loss of them, not for them.  They are more wondrously joyful, content and full of life than they could have ever been here on earth.

As one of my friends this morning said, "We think this [world] is great, but that [heaven] will be greater than the human mind can imagine."

Let us miss our loved ones, let us mourn their passing, but let us rejoice in this wonderful journey they are entering into and realize that  we "shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. "(2 Samuel 12:23.)

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 
neither have entered into the heart of man, 
the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

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