November 10, 2010
Sunday morning, after church had ended, I looked at my phone to see if anyone had tried to call me while service was still in progress. I had ten missed calls from different members of my family and a voicemail from my brother that said, “Hey, umm, something happened. Call me back as soon as you can.”
I called my brother back and learned that my grandfather had passed away while I was in church. This is within one week that someone else that I admired greatly, who attended my home church, had passed away due to cancer.
The one thing that really made my heart sink when I heard about my grandfather was the fact that I did not know whether he had a relationship with Christ or not. I do not remember any moment when he acted like it.
I asked my mother if she knew. She told me that she had spoken with him a few days before. He told her that was a decision that he had made a long time ago. He did ask Christ into his heart. This brought relief to mine, but that does not make the fact that he is gone any easier, for the rest of the family or for me.
Soon after I received the news, I received a message on Facebook from a friend through the amazing texting service that Facebook offers. It was simply a reference to a Bible verse followed by the verse. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says this, “Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
It is important for us not to lose heart when temporary things pass away. As hard as it is to imagine, all of our bodies are temporary things. We have to remember that our temporary troubles, this includes when the body of a loved one dies, are the things that God uses to achieve an eternal glory.
We have to remember that everything we can see is temporary. When we focus on God, we can begin to grasp what is eternal. We can focus on things that are eternal.
No matter what happens in this life, or how bad things get, we really do have a hope that outweighs anything else. When I think about it, knowing this does not make things easier. I know that I have an eternal Father in whom I can rest. I know that He comforts me. I know that trials only make me stronger. I know that God will never forsake me. I know that He did not forsake my grandfather. I know that there is an everlasting peace waiting for me. I know that there is a peace within my heart today. It is still not easy.
One of my initial thoughts was this, “Why did Eve have to take fruit from that forbidden tree?” If there had not been a fall, then there would not be death. Then I thought about that question. If there had not been a fall, then there would not be grace.
If man were perfect, then would God be God? I realize that the fall was a part of God’s plan. This still does not make things easier.
I do not know how to make things easier. I do not know what advice I can give on how to cope with these sorts of things. All I know is that we cannot lose heart. Though these sorts of things will happen, we must continue to persevere in the work of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
We must continue to fight the good fight, and it is a fight. Through everything, we must keep our focus on our Father. We never know the reason for which God will allow someone who had such a great influence on our life to pass away, but we can be guaranteed of one thing: God can, and will, use any situation for His eternal glory.
It is this eternal glory that we are allowed to take part in. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Above all, remember one thing: The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who overcome; for this is the very nature that God gives those who accept Him (Revelation 21:7).