Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Mid-Week Message - Precious In the Sight of the Lord

"So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, just as the Lord had said.  The Lord buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but to this day no one knows the exact place."  Deuteronomy 34:5-6  (NLT)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 is a day I will never forget.  I got a call from my mother that morning.  When I answered she said, "I can't wake your father."  I asked her if she had called for an ambulance.  She hadn't.  I instructed her to do so and headed as fast as I could to the duplex where they were living.  I arrived before EMS did and went into their living room where I found my father seated in his recliner.  I searched for a pulse.  When I did not find one, I got him onto the floor and began CPR.  When help arrived I was instructed to continue until their equipment was set up then they took over.  While they were working I began placing phone calls because I knew in my heart that my Daddy would never again open his eyes.

As the grief began to set in, I also started asking the Lord to reveal to me how He viewed the death of His earthly children.  Almost all of us have lost someone close to us.  We know the intense sadness of knowing we will not see them again during our time on this planet.  And we know that He endured watching the torturous death of His only Son.  I guess I just wanted to know that even though our lives continue as we transition to Heaven, that when a life ends on earth, it means something to Him.

Psalm 116:15 says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants."  I have read this verse many times during my Christian life.  However, during my time of grief and searching, it took on new significance.  

My father loved the Lord.  During the last years of his life especially, he spent much time in prayer.  After he retired, he had little time to enjoy himself because my mother's health declined and he took on a new role as caregiver.  He did it without complaint and out of love for her but he told me once that he wished he could just get in his van and drive away.  He was tired.  He had his own health problems to deal with as well and his strength was waning.  I believe with all of my heart that he was ready to be done with this life.  I asked him once what he was looking forward to most in Heaven and his answer was, "running barefoot."  As a boy he ran everywhere he went and was usually barefoot because his family was poor.  I found it very touching that, of all the possibilities he could choose, what he really desired was being able to run barefoot once again.  

I know that as he took his last breaths that morning he was not alone.  In today's verse we learn that  it was the Father Himself that buried Moses when he passed away.  It shows great tenderness along with presence and involvement.  Does Almighty God feel anything when a death occurs?  Oh yes.  Just as He is present with us as we live, so He is present with us as we leave our earthly bodies.  I believe my father was met with heavenly rejoicing and that he was able to feel the ground beneath his bare feet as he ran into the arms of our Savior.  

We grieve over what we see as a loss.  But dear ones, those who go to be present with the Creator experience greater joy than we can even imagine.  They are not sad, nor will they ever be again.  As much as I miss my Daddy and wish that I could see him again on this side of Heaven, I would never want him to leave where he is.  How could I ever ask him to re-enter a world of pain and trouble?  But one day, after I have entered the heavenly realms for myself, I will worship at the feet of Jesus along with my beloved earthly father.  God bless you.  

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