Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

House of Mourning

His handshake was missed today.

We celebrated his life this past Thursday at his funeral service and his handshake was mentioned over and over. He shook your hand like he really cared for you. His hand was large and strong and he would look into your eyes as he shook your hand. I always thought this, but on Thursday I realized many others felt this way too.

Today, at Church, he was not with us to remember Christ' s death and resurrection and afterward to shake our hands. He is in a far better place. He is with his Lord and Saviour. He lived an abundant life and now life everlasting.

As I try to explain to my daughter, who is full of questions, 'where' he is I realize my own limited understanding of death. It is such a mystery really. To be absent from the body and present with the Lord.

But what about his widow? Married for 53 years, she is now without him. I really do not know how to offer words to one grieving. I have not been through what she is now experiencing. What do you say to one who has just lost the one she had loved all these years? As I give her a hug, I tell her we are praying. That is all I can say.

I contemplate the lessons we learn through death. He did not fear it; he was ready. She has been given a strength and peace.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
"Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

John N. Darby wrote this in his commentary:

Death, to the believer who must pass through it, is only leaving that which is mortal; it no longer bears the terror of God's judgment, nor that of the power of Satan. Christ has gone into it and borne it and taken it away totally and for ever. Nor that only, — He has taken its source away. It was sin which sharpened and envenomed that sting. It was the law which, presenting to the conscience exact righteousness, and the judgment of God which required the accomplishment of that law, and pronounced a curse on those who failed in it, — it was the law which gave sin its force to the conscience, and made death doubly formidable. But Christ was made sin, and bore the curse of the law, being made a curse for His own who were under the law; and thus, while glorifying God perfectly with regard to sin, and to the law in its most absolute requirements, He has completely delivered us from the one and the other, and, at the same time, from the power of death, out of which He came victorious. All that death can do to us is to take us out of the scene in which it exercises its power, to bring us into that in which it has none. God, the Author of these counsels of grace, in whom is the power that accomplishes them, has given us this deliverance by Jesus Christ our Lord. Instead of fearing death, we render thanks to Him who has given us the victory by Jesus. The great result is to be with Jesus and like Jesus, and to see Him as He is.

It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting:
in that that is the end of all men, and the living taketh it to heart.

(Ecclesiastes 7:2)
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