Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Countdown Towards Leaving This Earth

When we think of the Psalms, it is David who readily springs to mind as the author. But David is not the only author. Did you know that of the 150 Psalms, one of them is attributed to Moses. In it, Moses dispenses some priceless wisdom that we would all do well to heed in the light of eternity:

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (Psalm 90:12).

My good friend Nick, from Australia, recently lost his grandmother to the ultimate statistic. In response, Nick composed some words that are very stirring and very much in season. It is clear that Nick is learning the importance of numbering his days - and what a joy it is to witness God's sanctifying work in Nick's life through his passion for, and grasp of, the things that really matter this side of the veil. His words are worth sharing and embracing. So please, slowly meditate on this wise counsel . . .

Last night my dear Nan left this earth to meet her King.

Some time ago I watched my father, who I had never grown up with, deteriorate and painfully die of cancer. I refused to acknowledge the reality of death then, and later made his passing all about me in a kind of self-centered, destructive, internalised pity.

Others I have known die and, in the same manner, I chose to side-step the reality of it, instead of confronting the fact that from the moment we are conceived, we start our countdown towards leaving this earth.

So today I am choosing not to make my precious Nan’s death about me, about her, or about my family, or about life.
I am choosing to make this about God, our Creator; for, despite our repugnant hatred and paralyzing fear of death, God was glorified last night before all Heaven, and it was linked to the death of my Nan.
Her death completed God’s predestined plan to bring about His final glory in her life, in a manner that was not possible while she was with us on earth. It will be exactly the same with me.

The radiance of God’s inconceivable mercy and grace will pierce throughout the Heavens as He welcomes as heir the one who has placed their complete hope and trust in Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice at the cross...
God’s Justice at punishing man’s complete life of sin and contempt for Him will be magnificently magnified at the judgement of those without the defense of Christ Jesus.

Either way, God is sovereign, just and righteous, and His glory is paramount in everything.

So, while I can only pray to God that my dear Nan repented in brokenness of her sins and placed her trust in Christ, I must still focus on the fact that God is just and worthy of praise, even following the death of a loved one.

Death is a part of life. It wasn’t what God desired but we chose it that way through the actions of our forefather Adam and we all make the same God-defying choices that he did every day.

“All flesh is like the grass,
And all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of the Lord endures forever”
(Isaiah 40:6b-8)

Even Job was concerned for the salvation of his own children, and yet, following their death, instead of distracting himself with self pity, he was able to pronounce:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
(Job 1:21)

So, with God’s strength, I will choose with Job to focus on God.
Death is coming for all of us, it’s inevitable.
It will meet my beautiful wife.
It will take my precious son and daughter.
It will even take my 20 week old unborn and fragile child.
And it will take me.

"In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:10)

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Amen Nick, amen!

1 comment:

Cameron Buettel said...

Thanks Nick! We rejoice at the sanctifying work God is doing in your life by the power of His Spirit.