Therefore I would like to reflect a bit on the journey I've been traveling for the past few weeks. I am calling this "Autumn Reflections and Reality Checks". First for the Autumn reflection part:
I won't bore you with a travelogue of our entire trip, but suffice it to say, the scenery was magnificent...and the company was even greater. We were there to celebrate our grandson's 14th birthday and spend time with our middle son and his family. We live in Florida, so the visits with this part of our family are way too few and far between.
And that brings me to the "reality check" part of the journey.
While driving to work one day this week, I listened on the radio (JoyFM) to a portion of a message from Pastor Francis Chan, who was speaking at a conference for high school and college young people. Here is the full message: Francis Chan, "God is Faithful" from Passion 2013 Conference, if you want to listen. The part that I heard that struck me was found around the 26.00 section on the progress bar of the video. He played a clip from a friend of his, a radio show host, who was talking about death and does man actually have a soul, and how our bodies are just the earthly container that holds our real self, our soul, our spirit...the part that lives on for eternity. The example this man gave was that he drove a motorcycle, and that he knew that at anytime on the freeway a vehicle could drift over into his lane and cut him off and he could be killed instantly...but he was saying that if that were to happen not to grieve for that broken bag of bones left on the freeway, because that is not the real person, that's just his body. The real person is the soul, which goes immediately to be with the Lord in heaven. The amazing part of this story was that just 3 hours after this man made this statement on the radio, he got on his motorcycle and headed down the freeway, and the exact thing he spoke about happened to him. He was struck and killed that very day.
None of us are guaranteed any number of days or years upon this earth. Only God knows the number of our days. Psalm 139:13-16 tells us that God formed us in our mother's wombs, and that He has known us since we were "skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth."
Verse 16 says, "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them."
II Corinthians 5:1 tells us that "if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Verse 2: "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven."
Verse 4: "For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by LIFE." (MEANING: ETERNAL LIFE).
Verse 5: "Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, Who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee."
Verse 6: "So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord."
Verse 7: "For we walk by faith, not by sight."
Verse 8: "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."
Verse 9: "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him..."
Our hope is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth, and Who created us in His image.
II Corinthians 5:17 tells us, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
We have this hope in Christ Jesus. We know that our son is a child of God, a follower of Christ. We are confident that if he were to die today, he would immediately be in the presence of God, in heaven.
Philippians 1:21 says, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
I know, you are probably saying that it's easy to say all these things now, while he is yet living. But what will you say when that day really comes?
I sincerely pray that day will not come for many years. But the reality is, it could happen any time...to any of us. Those of us who are healthy could be like the man on the motorcycle...perfectly safe and healthy one minute and even talking about it...and go out on the highway and be struck dead in a moment...or have a heart attack...or some other disaster could hit us. The important thing is to be ready. Always ready. And to realize that this earthly temple is not the real me, or you. The REAL me will live eternally. So will my son. I can live with that reality.
What about you? Do you have that same hope and confidence? If not, perhaps you needed this reality check as well. I hope you will think about these things today...and seek God while there is yet time. He loves you and would love to introduce you to His Son. If you need some help with this...let me know. Maybe I can help you find the answers you are seeking. It would be my pleasure to do so.