Monday Morning Musings for August 20, 2018

I’ve been dealing with death a lot over the past two weeks. And on two different ends—with a person nearing 60 and a newborn just hours old. Though it comes with the territory of pastoring, seeing it before your eyes with people you’ve come to love is always heart-wrenching.

So when God laid this verse on me over the weekend in my daily reading, well, it was humbling, counter-intuitive, inspiring, and numbing, all at the same time. Why? Because when we think of dying, especially the process of it, death becomes to us that black shadow that eventually swallows our life. But Paul actually said it was the opposite! Really? Look at this verse:

“For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” (2 Corinthians 5:4)

Wow! Did you see that? From God’s perspective, our dying bodies are being swallowed up by his life! Yes, for the believer, death is actually the event when what is mortal is actually being swallowed up by what is eternal. In other words, eternal life is actually taking over temporal life. We’re truly moving from being barely clothed to fully clothed. From gradually dying to eternally living. From groaning to glory. Could it actually be that God’s life comes to us in its fullest when our life ends in its frailty and finality?

I admit this is mind-boggling. I hardly have the capacity or emotion to think of dying like the Scriptures describe it here. Yet, I stare at the wonderful, God-inspired words in this verse and melt with awe at what God is actually doing in that most dreaded moment of our last breath: He is swallowing our death with his life. That blows me away!

May you be blown away as well as you realize you’re not getting one step closer to your death … you’re moving one step nearer to God’s life.

One Comment on “Monday Morning Musings for August 20, 2018”

  1. #Hi, my name is Kimberly (Krawiecki) Harter. I live in Colorado Springs, Co. Thanks for that encouraging insight into that verse… “With our last breath, God is swallowing our death with his life.” Thanks for your ministry to all who have believed and to all who will soon believe in Christ. One of my favorite verses in scripture is: “And this is life eternal, that we may know Him, the only true God, & Jesus Christ whom He has sent.” (John 17:3)
    # I believe that one of the people you mentioned in your blog may be my cousin, Beverlee (Nelson) De Waard. I am her cousin, who is also, almost 60. We only knew each other a short time while children, in Royalton, MN. Thrilled to find out that both she & her mother, Hilarion, also came to know Christ as their savior, I praised God. How I reconnected with Bev’s mom was when observing her mom, Hilarian’s ‘s , picture on the Missionary Alliance Church bulletin board in Little Falls, MN. That is where I go to church when I visit my sister & other family members, in Minnesota.
    # After receiving Christ as my savior in 1980 ( Almost 40 years ago), prayer for others in my family to know Christ as Lord & savior was foremost in my prayers to God. It is wonderful to hear of the salvation of family members, this side of heaven.
    # It was way back in 1980 that I heard the verse: ” Verily, verily, he that heareth my word and believeth on him who sent me has eternal life, and is not passed into judgement but has passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24) The first time I knew that I could know eternal life this side of heaven was when my friend shared I John 5:11-13 with me. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and his life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” I love the verses that speak to knowing eternal life this side of heaven. You see, I grew up thinking that you had to be good enough to go to heaven. However, the Spirit of God continued drawing me to His Word, and praise God , he opened my spiritual eyes by the Word of Truth.
    # PS: Do you know if Beverlee’s Celebration of Life service was recorded?” The church recorded, unexpectedly, my son’s memorial service when he passed away 3 years ago. It has been a comfort to me to hear people remember him. If you have a copy of Bev’s eulogy, I would appreciate it. I was unable to attend her Memorial service. Thank you. My e-mail:
    #Side Bar: Our son, Noah was only 25 years old, a veteran, Marine when he passed away May 12, 2015. He served in both Afghanistan & Iraq. Two years after his death, we allowed his story to be told. It was a hard decision, but, we felt strongly that his story may help other veterans, & their families, in similar situations. His story, eventually reached Washington D.C. And, in part to the telling of Noah’s story, new legislation has been made to make the transition to civilian life easier for veterans. The Gazette Telegraph did an article about his life. Perhaps it might interest you. You may look it up on the internet. It is entitled: An Ideal Marine. It was a front page story, 6 pages long in the Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, CO. Memorial Day Weekend, May 2018. My son’s name: Cpl. Noah Henry Harter(USMC). It really helps people understand the struggles our combat soldiers deal with emotionally. It was during the grief of his death that God gave me the following comforting verse: ” God is near to the brokenhearted.” (Ps 34:1-18) “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him. he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. ..THE LORD IS CLOSE TO THE BROKENHEARTED AND SAVES THOSE WHO ARE CRUSHED IN SPIRIT. I look forward to hearing from you.

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