The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1
This week of my cousin Tom passed away. (He is the one peeking over my God’s mother’s shoulder) Tom was a gentle man who we thought would somehow always be there. He and I were born the same year, had been on summer vacations, horse back riding and even briefly played in the same band.together. It seemed my quiet cousin would always be there and yet he is suddenly gone.
How often we say things such as, “She is one of God’s greatest gifts to me! or What a gift God gave us with this son or daughter!” But in reality none of those we love so dearly belong to us. The time we spend here on earth together is just a short term loan.God holds the appointed time the loan will be called in, in His hands. They are not ours but how we treat those God has trusted into our care changes us for eternity.
Sometimes people are like little birds singing outside our windows. We may throw them a few crumbs but we don’t realize the value of their songs until the day they are silent. People are a loan. We do not possess someone else’s life, they belong first to God. How I miss Tommy today. I cannot go back to say or do something more for Tom but his sudden absence stirs something in my heart to treat with more earnest and sincere love those who remain behind.
They say that the bee sees the colors of the flower as if they were the lights on a landing strip. She sees the pattern and lines up her flight path to directly intersect with the center of the bloom where the nectar can be found. In the same way the promises that God gives us in the Bible are sent to guide us to our heavenly landing. While the world’s way of thinking is to run from any hint of the end of earthly life, the Word of God places a hand around our shoulder urging us on. As Paul is writing to the Philippian church from his Roman prison cell he stares the possibility of death squarely in the eye and says:
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. Philippians 1:21-23
As I myself am growing older, I am beginning to see the glow of some of those lights on my own landing strip. Though one side of me stirs with a tendency towards panic and flight, the quiet sense of God’s Spirit within claims His promise of my heavenly home. Though the journey will be fraught with difficulty and will pass through the unknown regions ahead I am encouraged by the thought that.
No Captain fears entering his final port of call
No Engineer trembles as he is pulling into the train station
No passenger cowers in his seat after the plane has landed and the seat belt sign goes off
No soldier runs away after the end of the war when he sees his mother and father waiting for him on the porch
No child is ashamed to receive his rightful inheritance –
Though He suffered on the cross to the point of feeling abandoned, Jesus was never afraid. He chose to trust the Father and commit Himself into His hands. As we look to Him, the eternal , “Brave Heart” we can rest in Him completely and choose to – Never Be Afraid!
After the death of both my Dad and Mom I remember finding a bundle of letters, my letters. They had stored in one place every letter (not the Christmas cards). I had forgotten writing all those letters but they remembered. Writing had seemed like just a small thing but it was one thing I could do. To my parents the letters had been precious and they treasured them away.
Every day is like Christmas because God hands us the great gift of another sunrise. Giving a part of our day away to someone else may seem like just some small thing to us. But those things we think to be the smallest and of least importance will one day be read by God when he opens our life’s book in heaven.
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:34