Saturday, November 29, 2014

Journey of Loss {Part 7}: Tree of Life

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."

Proverbs 13:12

Jesus is our hope.

He is the tree of life;
The true vine
From which all life flows.

And, looking upon the tree

Where He died for you and me,
We are given eternity. 

To live in hope, 

We must live in Him.


Seeing Luke again is one of my greatest desires, but this longing is overtaken by the glory that sets me face down in worship of my Lord and King, who does all things well. He is the One who made it possible for eternal life. 

Christ Jesus, the holy and perfect Son of God, gave of Himself to the utmost, coming down out of heaven and sacrificing Himself for us. On the cross, when He said, “It is finished,” he breathed his final breath, and my sin debt was paid in full.

But, the story doesn’t end there. 

It was nearly dawn and three days after Jesus died. His body had been laid in a tomb with an enormous stone rolled out in front. Mary Magdalene, devoted follower of Jesus, had witnessed His execution on the cross firsthand. She had come to anoint his body with spices, but when she got there, the stone had been rolled away; the tomb was empty. 

Mary did not know what to think or do. She could not believe that his body could go missing like this. She began to allow herself to grieve and huge sobs poured out of her heart. As she covered her face in anguish, she sensed someone near her. Everything was a blur as she tried to adjust her eyes to the first gleam of dawn. She thought it must be the tombs’ groundskeeper.

“Sir, if you have taken the body of my Lord, please tell me where you have put him,” she implored.


His voice was like no other. It was Jesus!

“Teacher!” she cried out, arms stretched wide to embrace him.

“Don’t hold onto me Mary, for I am still going to leave to be with my Father, but go and tell my disciples that I have risen from the dead.”

Mary’s despair had turned to joy. She ran off to tell all the other disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead. 

Over the course of forty days, Jesus appeared to all his disciples and over 500 followers.  As he stood on the Mount of Olives, he lifted up his hands to bless all who stood by. Then, he was taken up high into the sky, until the clouds hid him from view. He returned to heaven to be with God the Father until the appointed time of His return (Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11).     

I don't think we can ever get used to "the new normal." Maybe because we weren't meant to. The heart still doesn’t get death. We were made for eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Our hearts cry out in anguish that we are still feeling the consequences of the first sin. That is where the tears, the crying, the wailing comes from. But, Jesus tells us that He is the Resurrection and the Life. In Him, death has lost its sting and is swallowed up in victory. In this world, all will die, but, one day, Jesus will call, and those who belong to Him will wake up to new life eternal (John 5:24-30).

Walking briskly,
In the sand,
Toward the sound.
Two shadows,
Stretching before.
Dim street lamps,
Fading out.
I know it’s there.
But, where?

Cannot see.
No stars,
No moon,
No guide,
But Him.
And, I can hear it.
The sound,
Getting closer.

Too long,
Too dark,
Too uncertain.
My trembling hand,
Holding on,
To His dependability.
Are you pleased?
Are you smiling?
Or looking down,
 With furrowed brow,
Are you angry with me?
I guess,
 I’ll see.

Feet sinking down,
In the mire,
We trudge on.
Then, we stop,
And wait.
At the edge,
Of the shore.
How long?
Will it ever come?

And then,
It begins.

Brilliant light,
Casting colors,
Double image,
In the heavens,
And sea.
Filling my heart,
With joy beyond belief.
That familiar,
Orange sliver,
Peeking out,
At me.

Rising up,
Telling tales,
Morning glory.

~ C.M.G.

“Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”

(Lamentations 3: 22, 23)

When I see a perfect Florida sunrise, I stand in awe, and my thoughts turn toward heaven.  Heaven is so mysterious, so other-worldly. I can hardly fathom what it will be like. More than that, when I think about Jesus coming back down out of heaven and setting His feet upon the new earth, what joy floods my soul. All things will be restoredthe dead will be raised back to life, and all things will be made new. 

The present sufferings of this world will pale in comparison to the eternal life awaiting us. It will be world without end, and I can only imagine how amazing it will be. I will see all my loved ones who have gone before me. And, best of all, I will see Jesus, who carried me through my darkest hours into the light of day. 

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain,
for the former things have passed away.
Then he who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”

(Revelation 21:4,5, NKJV)

This is Part 7 and the final installment of my story, Journey of Loss. Here is the link for Part 1.