Posts Tagged ‘death’

(Photo: Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat)

(Photo: Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat)

Yesterday was a hard day.  Actually, this past week has been a hard week.  And I don’t just mean for me.  We’ve got a community, a high school, friends, family and relatives who are grieving.  The pain runs deep, especially when life is cut short.  Questions loom large and answers seem nowhere to be found.  Trying to make sense of tragedy seems to always be futile.

It’s times like these that 1 Corinthians 13:12 seems like the understatement of the Bible.  “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”  Imperfectly for sure.  Like looking through a foggy window.  Like trying to see clearly through those shower doors with obscure, rippled glass.

But I take great comfort knowing that one day I will see clearly.  We all will.  We will see as God sees.  But until then we are left squinting.  Until then we have to find comfort in our limited perspective knowing that His eyesight and perspective is perfect.  This gives me hope.

And hope is what we are all ultimately looking for… especially in the midst of a tragedy like we have experienced this past week.  You see, whether you realize it or not, deep down we are all hopeful people. Every single one of us wants something or someone to believe in. We do this all the time – every day. We put our hope in small things and big things. We put our hope in people or in relationships. We put hope and dreams toward the future and what will come next. Life would be pretty miserable without hope.

And it is just a time like this that we look at the world and things don’t seem to make sense and we wonder what’s going on. We can find ourselves having more questions than we have answers. We can find ourselves thinking that the darkness is darker than the light… and it can cause us to be hopeless.

But the truth is, ultimate hope exists.  I’ve found it for myself.  It’s a hope that has carried me through some very dark and painful times. I’ve found a hope that has carried me through times where I have felt hopeless. In the midst of these questions that don’t have easy answers I do believe a few things. I do believe that God is real, He is alive and He has not abandoned us. I do believe that in the midst of all the pain, confusion and tragedy, God is still here. And I believe that He is good and His plan is good.

Even in the middle of suffering there is hope.  And God knows this and has also felt this.  No one understands suffering more that God does.  He watched as the world abandoned Him and turned to their own path.  He knows what it feels like to lose a child as He was willing to sacrifice His one and only son.  Why?  So that we could have hope.

And this ultimate hope is Jesus.  Jesus came so that we could have hope.  Hope that was found in His life, in His death and ultimately in His resurrection from the grave.  You see in those events, He defeated the power of death.  He demolished the stronghold of sin.  He points to hope of the resurrection and the fact that life doesn’t end here when our physical life here on earth is over.

That is why I can be hopeful through the tears and the pain.  That is why I can feel the weight of what has happened and still be hopeful.  Because there is coming a day when all things will be made new. All of creation will be healed. One day, there will be no more mourning. There will be no more pain. There will be no more death. The world will finally be as it’s supposed to be.

Have you found ultimate hope?  If not, I’d love the opportunity to talk with you.  The tragedy of this week has served as a wake up call for all of us to evaluate our life and to cling tightly to those we love.  But let it also allow you to search your heart to see what you are hoping in.  Jesus is His name.  He is ultimate hope.

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Borrowed Time

Posted: January 7, 2015 in Thinking Theologically
Tags: , , ,

One of the things I love most about being a parent during the holidays is the excitement that comes from my kids.  As we were in the advent season, time became really important to them.  We used our advent calendar to countdown the time until we would celebrate Jesus birth… and oh yea, something about counting down to presents too.  But everything about advent was marked by time and a desire for that time to be well spent.  We used some of the time we had during the break to visit family up in Birmingham and then also in Jacksonville.  Some of our time was spent on a visit to Cole’s doctor and then a subsequent re-visit and procedure.  And then we got to New Year’s Eve where time is marked by countdown timers, a giant ball falling and fireworks.

Time.  It’s something we all have in common – young and old alike.  We all have before us: 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525,600 minutes and 31,536,000 seconds.  The question becomes, “What will you do with all this time?”  It’s been said that time is free but it is priceless.  You can’t own it, but you can use it.  You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.  And once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.  Some sobering words indeed.

James calls us to some important mindsets when it comes to time.  Starting in James 4 verse 13 he writes, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” 

James puts our lives into perceptive doesn’t he?  He tells us that our lives are like the fog that rolls in through the night and by the mid-morning hours is burned off by the sun.  It’s short lived.  The some 70, 80, or 90 years if God is gracious that we may live pale in comparison to eternity.  He has given us this precious gift of time that we are simply borrowing from Him.  And He’s called us to use it well.  To think like the great missionary C.T. Studd who reminds us, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”