Friday, July 15, 2005

DEATH - A comma between a dependent clause and an independent clause!

DEATH’S SHADOW! [Psalm 23:4; dying, eternal life, justification, sanctification]

Naomi (our seven year-old) was crying quietly into her pillow when I came in. Her older sister, Jennifer, had told me she thought she heard her crying. I asked, "Sweetheart, why are you so sad?" She said she knew mom and I were going to die but she didn’t want us to and it made her sad. I told her I’d take her out the next day and show her why she didn’t need to worry about mom and dad dying.

The next day we drove to a side street, not far from our house. I parked by the curb and showed her a tree about a hundred yards away. I said, "You see that tree?" She told me she did. I asked her, "Do you see its shadow, how it falls across our path?" Again, she told me she did. "Now, if I point my truck straight at that tree and drive as fast as I can, what will happen?" She told me would crash and die. I told her we sure would.

Then I said, "But what if I change my direction, and just drive down the street? We’ll go through the trees shadow, right? What then?" She said, "Oh, I see! If we drive on the street, through the shadow, we go right through. We go through the tree but not the real tree, only its shadow. You mean that’s like dying. Dying is just passing through a shadow." I asked her, "But, Naomi, not everyone changes direction. What happens to them?" She said, "Oh, they crash and die."

I then explained how those who have Jesus in their hearts and have been washed in His precious blood have changed directions, but those who stubbornly refuse the gift of eternal life will continue on their way and hit the tree that they deny exists.

"Honey," I said, "mom and dad have that life because we have Jesus ... we’ll go through the shadow of death but not death itself. And you need to have Jesus in your heart too."

Source/Attribution: special thanks to Charles Swindoll who told a similar anecdote in Talbot Chapel in 1985, without it, I would not have been able to teach this precious truth to my daughter.

THE MASTER’S ROSE! [Psalm 116:15; death (of a loved one), funerals, grieving]

A poor man once acquired a position as gardener for a very rich and powerful rajah in India. His master loved roses and had some imported. The gardener labored hard until it became a labor of love ... especially for the roses. He personally cared for one particular bush, where a bud had grown to full bloom with the most perfect white rose of the deepest pearl-like hue.

One day his master took a leisurely stroll in his garden. Inevitably he passed by the man’s favorite rose; he stopped and spoke admiringly of it to his companions. Turning to a servant he said something and turned to depart. The servant removed a small knife from his pocket and cut the rose from the bush. The gardener was horrified and complained loudly but was ignored.

So devastating was his wound he lost his love for the garden and abandoned his loyalty to his master. It was not long before the change was noticed and reported … time passed, the garden failed and the gardener was once again a poor man.

Does not the owner of the garden have the right to take the best bloom from among all the blooms? When he wants? Without asking? Would the gardener want the lord of the land to take the second best bloom? Or no bloom? Are the blooms the property of the gardener or the rajah?

Oh how it hurts to lose a loved one, the hole their absence leaves is enormous. Even pet lovers grieve deeply when a favorite cat or dog is taken. But all of creation belongs to the Creator and it is in truth a grand compliment when the Creator chooses one of our favorite blooms to grace His heavenly home.

Source/Attribution: adapted from a message by C. H. Spurgeon

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