Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Have a Living Hope.

For my work-study job at school, I have been going through obituaries. Pleasant job, I bet you're thinking. It's not usually what I do, but for now I am going through, searching the names to see if any of them have at some time been connected with our university. This task is not the easiest; yesterday I started to cry.

There are some I read that begin with something like: "Jim was welcomed into the loving arms of Jesus Christ..." Those are usually the ones where tears gather in my eyes. The ones where the family can say without a doubt that the man lived his life for the glory of Jesus Christ and they know where he is now.

Then there are the terribly sad ones that grieve me deeply on the inside but don't usually move me to the kind of tears that are, in the previous instance, usually mingled with the joy of the knowledge of salvation. These second ones are instead like brick walls of terribly tangible reality. I read one yesterday that exalted the way the woman had given herself to "transcendental meditation" and how that was what she had passed onto her children. These ones about people that did not know the Lord - they are the difficult ones to read. Their lives are over. Their chance to say yes to Jesus is gone.

Today, as I finished up my task, I decided: should the Lord tarry, and I die and have a funeral, I want people to get saved at it. I don't want to die simply having "made the world a better place." No, I have a far greater legacy I dream of. I want to point people to Jesus. I want to finish my race having given everything I could to love and serve Him well. When people think of me, whether I'm alive on this earth or truly alive, I want them to in the next breath think of Jesus, and how He was what my life was for, about, spent on, everything.

I know a blog about death seems at first uncharacteristically sorrowful. The truth is, however, that if you know Jesus, there is no fear in physical death! Philippians 1:21 says that "to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Only in recent years has my heart begun to yearn for the day when I am with Him fully. He has written eternity on my heart (like He has on yours), and so here I am, caught between the now and the not yet (as my sister would say). Because Jesus died on the cross with me in mind then defeated death in rising from the grave, I have heaven to look forward to, rather than the hell my sinful soul deserved. Now, life is Christ, and oh how sweet it is! But then? Then is perfect peace, seeing Jesus as He is, touching His scarred hands with which He bought my life, being welcomed as one of the Father's own into His house. Now is good, but then...then will be great.


Amy Rachel Peterson said...

It will be great, indeed, Annie! And we shall have long, long hours of talking and playing and worshiping and merry-making together. said...

Don't forget that there's probably games like Ticket to Ride there. Or, better yet, the games there are probably ten times more fantastic, maybe more!