To Live Again
“If a man dies, will he live again?” - Job 14:14 Good question. Our church experienced an unusually high number of funerals and memorials services during a difficult season. While any church is accustomed to tending to the end of life, it was hard to see so many grieving families. So, we think about death and all that it means.
I remember when my Grandpa Bentley was stricken with cancer. This good, solid man lived his life as a faithful husband, father, and grandfather. He was a man of the earth, who had spent his life working in agriculture. His own back yard was filled with fruit trees. As children we loved to visit and walk with him through the trees that bore the fruit of his labor.
He was warm, loving, masculine. He sent his family off to church every week, and respected the faith of my grandmother, but he never made it himself. He believed in God, but had never made time for a personal commitment.
Now he faced eternity. And those of us who loved him, and knew the Lord were concerned. One the day the pastor of the little church my grandmother had faithfully attended for years, walked with Grandpa out in his orchard and asked, “John, don't you think it's time to get right with the Lord?”
My grandfather replied, "Yeah, I think probably now is a good time." As they walked and talked, among the fruit trees my grandfather had so lovingly nurtured, John Bentley committed his life to the Lord.
Not much later, now in an extremely weakened condition, my grandfather was in his bed and Grandma suddenly felt compelled to check on him. When she entered the room, he was sitting up with his hands raised. He was smiling and speaking softly as if he was greeting someone. He spoke the names of old friends and relatives. My grandmother remembers a light, which seemed to shine from his face. Then he smiled, lay down, and went to sleep.
God had greeted Grandpa at the door of eternity. The door had opened enough to let the light of heaven shine through for a brief moment. My grandmother saw a glimpse of eternity as her beloved husband was carried home by angels to be with the Lord.
Someone once said that our lives can be summed up in the little dash between two numbers that represent the years we lived!
"If a man dies, will he live again?"
The answer to that question was answered when Jesus died to give us eternal life, then rose again from the dead to prove it.
I am so thankful that my grandfather met the Lord before he died. God is faithful. He answered my grandmother's prayers. Grandpa's beloved fruit trees bore rich, plentiful fruit that blessed us all. But I know he was thankful for the loving, kind prayers of his beloved wife, which bore the greatest fruit of all.
"Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).
[Photo: kevin carden, CreationSwap]