Today begins a new year.
This day marks the passage of time and allows many the chance for introspection and self-evaluation. Accompanying each new year are so many hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. And yet, few things in life ever go as planned. Yes, we do our best to manipulate and control situations, yet sooner or later we realize just how little control we actually hold in life.
Do you know what are two of the greatest unpredictables in life? Birth and death. Funny how these two extremes lie so far outside of our manipulative grasp, don’t you think? It reminds me of this scripture from the Bible…
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die… He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts… (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a, 11a)
Our new son is 3 weeks old, and we celebrate his new life and the future the Lord has in store for him. On Christmas Eve, we planned to take him to meet his 89 year old great-grandfather. However, in the mystery of God’s timing, my grandfather passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of the 24th. Though they will not meet this side of heaven, I will tell my son about his great-grandfather and of his love for the Lord and his family.
Our family has the greatest hope and joy knowing that my grandfather’s faith and confidence was not in himself or his family, but rather in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.*
He believed that Jesus lived a sinless life and yet endured a horrific death and the wrath of His Father on our behalf. Why? Because our sin would otherwise separate us from God forever as we endured retribution for our faults. God can’t tolerate sin – He is holy – but He loved us so much that He chose to endure our well-deserved punishment rather than lose us forever.
Because my grandfather gave his life up years ago to follow Christ – there was nothing that death could take from him. Oh, it certainly took his deteriorating earthly body from him, but now he is in the presence of God, unrestricted by this world’s flesh. This is true joy and peace!
From where I stand…
- I see the birth of my son this holiday season, and I am reminded of a helpless Newborn who was born into simple humility and obscurity, though He was the King of Kings.
- I see the death of my beloved grandfather, and I am reminded of the hope of eternal life with God in heaven through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- I see the dependance of both – a young child and an elderly adult – and I am reminded of the dependence we must all acknowledge for God to have His will in our lives.
- I see a life well-lived for the Lord in my grandfather, and I am reminded to pray that my son would know and experience the fullness of a relationship with God.
Yes, I see, and I remember this…
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: …a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)
It seems that these two seasons have collided in my world. Yet in the midst of them, I see the beauty and love of God for each one of us. While, we cannot control or predict birth and death, perhaps we can learn and grow from walking through these seasons. Maybe we can see and find the Savior in the midst of the tears and laughter. And it could be that, in our vulnerability from these experiences, He would accomplish much in us and through us?
In the end, every season is valuable if, through it, we know the Father more and become more dependent upon Him. He is everything, and we are but dust and vapors – quickly gone. Even so, His eyes are upon us, and He loves us perfectly. Today, my prayer would be… may we love Him well in return.
Grace and peace!
– Alex ✌️
*If you feel that you do not have this hope that I speak of, that you don’t know what this life is all about or what you were created for, or if you simply want to dialogue more about it, please send me a comment or an email (see the contact page on the main menu). I’d love to chat with you!
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