Comfort between Breaths

I broke down as the news entered my ears and my heart shattered into hundreds of beautiful pieces. It hurt to breath; it brought pain to think about that one dreadful word, “death.” Between the sobbing and the meltdowns and hugs I forced my brothers to give me, my heart cried, “I am not my own!” I am not my own!? How can it be? Neither was Riley. Riley wasn’t his own, and he wasn’t mine. He was all my friend and a friend to all, and most importantly, he was a friend of His precious Savior.

It’s crazy how much can change in a second, how much beauty can be taken for granted, how many words can go unsaid before a heavy truth falls on our hearts. It’s insane how much you can miss a person when you know you’ll never see them again. Stop to breathe a minute, take it all in, and let it out. With the tears rolling down your cheeks and the impossible feeling that they’re gone, remember that person you’re missing is with their King. Remember, dear ones, that there’s a place to see them again, in our heavenly home.

Death, taunting in it’s tone and definition, defied by our Risen Lord. Death: that word we’re all scared of. No not all; them, the world. They’re scared of it. For the Christian, death realizes the end of this life and the beginning of the next with our good, good Father. I couldn’t say this word for weeks after Riley passed, but now it’s comforting knowing that God is, with every breath we take, preparing us to live with Him. It’s so amazing to me that Riley knew that; and all he ever wanted was to be with the Jesus he loves.

Our God amazes us and He works in mysterious ways. If it is sudden, due to cancer, old age, heart attack, in anyway, God is good. When the world is shaking and your life seems to collapse before your eyes, look to Jesus. When you can’t breathe in the silence, hear God’s voice whispering, “you are not alone.” When you’re ready to argue with the Alpha and Omega, take a step back and remember He is Sovereign. When the floods come rushing over you, cry to your Father, for He will lead you to the Rock that is Higher than you and I. You, His children will never fail. He is on your side. Nothing can take away His unfailing love or the promise of everlasting life. He is forever faithful. Nothing obscures the beautiful reality to come; that reality that all tears shall be wiped from our eyes and we will be united, forever, under our true and precious Lord and Savior, the Conqueror of death, the Giver of love and life, Jesus Christ.

Revelation 21:4 — “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Ariel Bosman

Christ Our Resurrection

A while back I wrote about a chorus from the Messiah called “Behold the Lamb of God.” This time I would like to write about another Messiah Chorus, “Since by Man came Death.” This particular chorus, taken from I Corinthians 15, talks about how sin entered into the world and how we are delivered from sin. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (I Corinthians 15:21). Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, in Paradise. They had a peaceful, serene environment in which they had full communion and fellowship with God. They were perfect. Eve, however, listened to the lie of the devil that she and the entire human race could “…be as gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5b) if she and Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This they did, and consequently they fell into sin. In spite of this great fall into wickedness, God let Satan know in no uncertain terms that he would not win. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel”(Genesis 3:15). The devil’s lie to Eve is the same one he tells today to everyone the world over. He even tried to tempt Jesus to follow him in the wilderness and abandon God’s plan for Him to redeem His people. Christ, however did not fall into temptation despite Satan’s best effort. His will was focused on doing what His Heavenly Father required of Him. “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day”(John 6:39). This Christ has done and He continues to intercede for us at God’s right hand. Where Adam fell into sin and caused the entire human race to fall with him, Christ redeemed His people from that fallen race. We still face afflictions in this life, including death itself. Even death, however,  is for our profit because we have been delivered from spiritual death. Therefore, when we die our afflictions will be over. We will have a peace that is even better than what Adam had in the Garden of Eden because it will last forever and be undamaged by sin. May God grant us the assurance of this victory in Christ!

Kevin Rau

Legacy

Every individual, whether Godly or ungodly, famous or obscure, wants to leave behind a legacy. That is, they want to leave something behind or have something known about them that people will remember and love for many years to come. For the actors and actresses of Hollywood, it’s the movies and awards that they want to be known for. Politicians want to be known for passing certain kinds of legislation and accomplishing great things in office such as fixing the economy or ending a war. What do we as Christians want our legacy to be? How should we want to be remembered? As God’s people we should be known as those who live for Him in all of our lives. We should be known as those who were faithful members of the church. One of the songs that we sang in Hope Heralds this year was called “Let it be said of us”. This song talks about the legacy of the Christian. It speaks of how we are to “…let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song” and how we are to be “…known by our love” for each other. Although this song was arranged for a male choir specifically, it speaks of how we all should live as God’s people. There were several unexpected deaths in this last week. These men and women left behind a legacy. “…Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13b). They lived as Christians in the midst of both the church and the world and God blessed the work of their hands. They weren’t perfect, they were sinners like the rest of us, but God worked sorrow over their sins and faith in Him in their hearts. There are those whose works follow them straight into Hell. These people lied, cheated on their spouses, stole vast amounts of money and did many other wicked things and never repented of their sins. By God’s grace, however, those who died recently were not among them. God took them to heaven because they were faithful to Him by His grace alone, not based on anything that they did. May our legacy as young people and young adults be that we follow the Lord with all of our hearts.

Kevin Rau