|Richard Hill and David Dent-|
taken Oct. 6, 2002 at my Graduate Recital in Houston.
Death is a hard thing and it doesn't matter how you go. If it is a quick, tragic event where you don't get to say good-bye such as a car accident or if it is a long drawn out cancer, it doesn't matter. Death is death and there is no easy way to go. And, it's hard on all involved.
However, there is hope. God has a plan. He has a reason for everything. Without this hope and view of such purpose, life and the passing of life is a sad experience.
I Chronicles 29:15 says, "We are here for only a moment...Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope." And it's true, we are only here for a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of time, but put here for a purpose. Without hope it is a hollow, shallow, self-centered existence.
Just look at Job and how many times the word "hope" is mentioned in his book--at least 18 times depending on the translation. Psalms--full of hope. Hope and faith are what bring us through the tough times. And, those times will come no matter who you are. This hope is what gives us purpose and to persevere no matter the circumstances.
We have this hope because God has given us grace. His grace is an undeserved favor, mercy rescuing us from our own destruction, because we are all sinners and fallen short of His glory. We can't be made right by doing what the law commands, it just shows us how sin-filled we are. We don't earn grace by doing good deeds either. God gave his son, Jesus as a sacrifice for sin. (Rom. 3:20-26, 4:16, and Eph. 2:8-9) And, he conquered the grave. Death has been defeated and those who put their trust in Him will have eternal life. (John 17:3 and I Cor. 15:56-57)
This is the comfort and confirmation he gives us.
Recently, again in choir practice I was reminded by the text of what it will be like. We were singing Mack Wilberg's "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need." It's a take on the 23 Psalm with beautiful words, text painting finely woven into the texture of the music accompanied by (every time I've done it) 2 flutes. The last stanza was the one that really hit home, paralleling verse 6--"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
O may thy house be mine abode and all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest while others come and go,
No more a stranger, nor a guest, but like a child at home."
Our choir director, Phillip reminded most of us about what it feels like to come back home from college--to have that home cooked meal and love lavished on us by parents who have missed us--to feel like a child at home. Through no fault of anyone, I haven't felt this on earth since the passing of Dadoo. Mom doesn't live in the same house where I grew up (and I'm glad she doesn't.) But when I "go home" I don't feel like a stranger or a guest, but I also don't feel "like a child at home." My hope is that one day with my heavenly Father, I will feel that again. Not a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home.
I know that Dadoo, Richard, Uldene, Alice, Gran and Granpaw feel that today. They are settled in and feel that rest in the Lord. Their work was all praise for Him and now they are at home. I can't wait to have that feeling with my heavenly father and be reunited with those I love.
I have hope in my Lord, Jesus Christ.