Friday, June 17, 2011
Sometimes Mid Scenes of Deepest Gloom...
A voice was heard in Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
And she refused to be comforted
Because they were no more
Weeks ago I wrote something about the death of Osama bin-Laden but I didn't post it.
I've made a few visits to countries where his ideology holds sway. I'd like to do a bit more in such places before I'm done.
Therefore my ambition inhibits my candor.
But this week there was another death which I simply must write about.
Years ago I was reading one of Ruth Bell Graham's Memoirs.
She was remembering her father's missionary colleagues in China, and in one section she enumerated their monumental suffering.
There's a strange notion about that if we try to make righteous choices and consecrate our lives to high purposes we will somehow escape any disturbance to the comfort of our lives.
Any survey of the brief Life and painful Death of Jesus of Nazareth ought to be sufficient to disabuse us of that illusion.
But the myth persists. I suppose it is a species of the equally mythological belief that we can merit or earn our own salvation.
For years I've known a young Dutch couple who are sterling Missionaries. He left a brilliant career in Physics, they moved to Budapest, bore down, and learned the language in record time. He wrote a book in Hungarian while still in his 20's. They'd been told they could not have children. A few months ago she conceived, but early on the doctors warned them with dark forebodings. This week they were presented with their little Rebekah. And a few hours later the child entered heaven.
Yesterday I had a brief visit with them in the hospital.
I suppose it's something God knew He could trust them with-this assignment no Christian would want. This assignment so like the assignment God the Father took upon Himself.
God will not prove His love for us by keeping those we love from suffering and death.
He offers that proof in a different way.
He proves His love by refusing to protect the One He loves from suffering and death.
They know that and they brought it up.
Like Jesus they have suffered.
Like Jesus they will die.
Like Jesus they will rise.
And they will prevail.
And when my task on earth is done
When by Thy grace the victory won
E'en death's cold wave I will not flee
Since God through Jordan leadeth me