Thursday, June 25, 2009

THAT Moment

I don't know if I should actually post this. It is quite a bit heavier than the usual. It's been a pretty heavy day, though. The celebrity deaths have brought a lot back.

A couple months ago, I lost a dear high school friend to liver cancer. He left behind a wife and three small children between the ages of 6 years and 8 months. He was diagnosed just weeks before he lost his battle.

Nearly a year ago, just days after my baby shower, I lost a long-time family friend to lung cancer. Another very close family friend - practically a second father to me growing up - was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is fighting with all he has.

Over the years, I have lost 5 of my students to various diseases and accidents including one 4-year-old. I have walked with friends who have buried spouses. I have rejoiced with those who have beaten their cancers. I was blessed to know all my grandparents and 2 great-grandmothers. All have since passed.

All of this makes me long for Heaven. No more pain. No more suffering. No more sickness. No more death. The last verse of Rock of Ages keeps running through my mind:

As I draw this fleeting breath
When my eyes shall close in death
When I soar to worlds unknown
See Thee on Thy judgment throne
Rock of Ages cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee
What is THAT moment like? The moment where you know you are about to leave this world? The moment when you face the certainty of death? The moment that bridges two worlds? I think of my high school friend. He was a very strong Christian who loved Jesus dearly. I know he is dancing with Jesus on streets of gold. I know he would have one thing to say to his children as they walk through life, "Be there." Out of everything he could say, I believe he would say to them, "Be there. Be in Heaven when your journey in this life is over. I'll be waiting."

It's not about rules. It's not about religion. It is about a relationship with the One who lived a sinless life. The One who took all our sins on Himself. The One who was tortured and who died on the cross. The One who conquered death itself. The One who went ahead to prepare a place for us. The One who knows how many hairs we each have on our heads. The One who longs for us to draw near and call on Him as Savior and Lord.

What is THAT moment like? Will you be there?


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