Jump Start # 3446
Psalms 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.”
The fall in Indiana is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. The leaves turn a vibrant collection of reds, yellows and oranges. People travel from other places just to see the beautiful leaves in Indiana. With a massive woods behind my house, I get a personal portrait from the Lord every fall.
But the changing of the leaves illustrates a powerful Biblical lesson for us. Our leaves are not these colors all year long. In the spring and summer, our trees are filled with different shades of green. It’s in the fall that the leaves turn. And, they continue to turn colors until they become brown and fall off the trees. The great fall colors come from leaves that are dying. And, that is the Biblical lesson, that there is beauty in death.
The world sees nothing good from death. The world cannot see beyond death. And the words used by the world to describe death illustrate this attitude. Words such as: gone, over, finished, kicked the bucket, tragedy. And, the dead are referred to in past tense. Heaven doesn’t use that language. Words such as: gain, blessing, precious, rest, hope, with the Lord are found in the Bible. The Bible doesn’t see death as the end.
And, as a leaf becomes beautiful as it dies, so does a disciple of the Lord. In what way is the death of a godly one “precious?”
First, because it means that someone has become what God wanted them to be. It is precious because someone chose to walk with the Lord. Some sought the grace of God and molded their life to be like Jesus. They worshipped the Lord as He desired. They became lights into the world. They used their talents to honor the Lord and build the kingdom. Out of darkness and into the light they walked. Forgiven by God and tasting the grace that the Lord offers, these people became disciples, followers of Christ. Their lives and their deaths are precious.
Second, because it means someone has finished what God wanted them to do. There is no reward for one who quits. There is no praise from Heaven for the selfish, the proud, or the ungodly. But building a life around the Lord is something that God recognizes. Even the little things, like a cup of cold water given to another is something that Heaven recognizes. The years of encouragement. The mountain of help offered. The time to teach others. Being a backbone to a congregation. Serving the Lord in whatever way possible. There was a faith, and they kept it. There was a fight, and they fought it. There was a course and they finished it. Through sunshine and storms, when it was easy and when it was hard, they remained close to the Lord. They finished.
Third, it means that they will enjoy what God wants them to enjoy. It began first here on earth. A life of walking with the Lord has obstacles, opposition and hardships, but it is filled with the joy of fellowship, the peace that comes from filling your heart with the Lord and the confidence to move onward towards Heaven. Worry, stress, fear, discouragement and even conversations about death do not hinder the child of God. He has the Lord and the Lord has him.
The disciple realizes that death is merely a door. It swings one way, but it is just a door. It is necessary to go through that door to get into the next room. And, it is in that room where the disciple wants to be. Free from the troubles that plague us here. Free from the temptations of Satan. Free from the pain and sorrow of this life. And, to be in the presence of the Lord, that’s what the disciple longs for. And, it’s not just a moment, a weekend, or a short while. This is it. That’s the end of the journey. Home, where we belong, with the Lord.
Indeed, there is a beauty in death. The leaves are the prettiest as they die and fall off the tree. And, it is the same for us. A life well lived. An example for others to follow. A fight that has been fought. A journey completed. A course finished and a faith kept. And, awaiting that disciple is a crown, a victory.
The superficial joys of this life could not turn the head of a disciple. The compromises of Satan did not move this disciple. He was heaven bound and nothing was stopping him.
A beauty in leaves and a beauty in death.
Thanks, Shannon for sharing this great idea.