Though I don’t fly back to Texas until Saturday, today I leave Atlanta.
I got the call while on a small putting green out behind the hotel I’m staying at…my mom had called and told me that he had taken his last breathes. It’s so strange when you get news like this. You will never forget where you where, what you were doing, the weather and time of day. The news of death, that moment, seems to be frozen in time.
I’m driving 4 hours west to attend my grandfather’s funeral in north Alabama. He went to be with Jesus this week at the age of 87. I am grateful to be nearby so that I can be there for my dad and his family during a difficult time. Losing a loved one is never convenient nor easy. Though I wish the circumstances of my visit with family were different there is an amazing swell of hope in the air. My grandfather – James Clifton Parker knew the grace of God by placing his faith in the person of Jesus Christ. He now celebrates the eternal detour of a sinful world into the everlasting glory of God.
Many thoughts come to mind when one grieves the loss of someone. One particular thought I’d like to expound on…”It just doesn’t feel right.”
It’s not. We were not created to observe or experience death. We were created to experience life and life to the fullest. (John 10:10) This is what God had planned for Adam and Eve, life to the fullest in garden…complete unity with God. But the former part of John 10:10 became a reality rather quickly, “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy.” Because Adam and Eve fell to selfish desires and the enemy’s schemes we now live in a world that experiences the consequences and ugliness of sin, our rebellion against God. One of these curses is a short physical life numbered by years. Though this is the case and unfortunate for us to experience, there is great news! Despite our rebellion God pursued us, His creation throughout history, ultimately giving up His one and only son so that we could be reunited with God, our creator. One of God’s greatest mercies is that He does give us the life intended for us in the garden, life to the fullest. For now we deal with a broken world ridden with death, but remember “He makes all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) Having a relationship with God here and now is just the pre-game show for what’s to come in eternity.
I’m looking forward to celebrating the life of my grandfather this weekend.