This life is a vapor, the shadowlands of beauty and sin and grief. A splashing, shallow kiddie pool compared to the swirling depths of magnificent ocean-treasures awaiting us one day, if we bow in humble submission before God.
I write about these things. I read my Bible. I pray. Yet in the trenches of suffering, I am still prone to forgetting that this life is a speck in comparison to eternity.
So once again, I wake up and preach the Gospel to myself.
Jesus died for sinners. He rose again. He is coming back for his people. (Romans 11:5-6)
As Charles Spurgeon once said: The same sun that melts wax hardens clay. And the same Gospel which melts some persons into repentance hardens others in their sins.
When trials come, and they will, a true Christian’s faith will grow deeper, stronger roots. There will be no departing from rich soil. (Matthew 13)
Many moons ago I listened online to a woman named Rachel, as she delivered the following message.
It is nearly an hour, and worth every single moment of your attention. At the time, she had but a few weeks left to live.
Her heart was melted wax.
Oh, the power of a heart submissive to God through fiery trials and persecution. God is always working on behalf of his people. Cancer pushed her further into a love for God, because she chose to trust in him alone even as her body wasted away.
Rachel shared her aching sadness and grief at the prospect of leaving behind her husband and two young children, but her heart had settled upon an unwavering faith in God.
The calm, bold strength of her faith permanently marked me. I have come back to her words time and again as I go through hot fires and deep waters. Not cancer, but other sorts of anguish.
I think it is crucial to spend much time pondering the truth of death, which is simply the gateway into eternity with God or apart from him.
Our eternal perspective–what we actually believe— will determine our daily steps and decisions. Not what we say we believe, (talk is cheap), but what is actually hidden in the depths of our hearts as we are squeezed through affliction.
Oh, how the stunning fruit of the Holy Spirit shines lush and ripe and heavy in our lives as we trust God, persevering under the weight of persecution and trials, trusting God’s perfect ways, which often hurt.
Rachel Barkey was fully surrendered. Reconciled to God. She was about to meet Jesus and she was ready.
Are you ready?
Death is not dying.
We are all exactly like Rachel–perishing. May we neither grieve nor quench the Holy Spirit as he scrubs and softens our hearts. Let us open our palms heavenward, handing God the blank paper of our one, precious life.
The Great and Perfect Author is penning our story.
And he will hold us fast.
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