I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. Philippians 1:23 ESV
I used to visit an elderly couple, who were physically no longer able to come to the church services. I would bring my guitar so that we could sing together, and we always laughed when their two parakeets decided to join in. While on the slower hymns they would cheep and dance a bit on their perch, when we sang the hymn, “I’ll Fly Away”, they often got so excited that on the days when the cage door was left open, they flew right out and up onto a high shelf, where they joyfully tweeted with all their might!
That memory from years ago came back to me yesterday with the passing of yet another dear friend into the presence of Jesus. It reminded me that while we are here on earth, we are in a body that like the bird cage is not our permanent home. We can sing and praise the Lord the best we can from our low perch, but at the time that God chooses we have an appointment to keep with Jesus. Because of His death and resurrection, our cage door has been opened and when we hear His voice we will spread our own wings and fly up and away. There He has prepared a high and heavenly new perch from which we be able to sing a hymn of praise forever – on that highest ground of all!