Past or Present: The Finish Line is Ahead not Behind Us
Grief is not made for fence sitters. At this level it will either make or break you, there really is no in-between..Â Grief reveals what youÂ believe in your heart and then begs the question, “What are you going to do about it?” Do we define ourselves by what is taken from us or by what God has given to us?
Last night I melted down. Not because of bad things, but because through Jonathan’s death others, also deeply struggling,Â are choosing life. As good and amazing as those miracles are, I found myself saying, but I want Jonathan! Natural right.
Actually those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, who are being led by the Spirit and not our nature, need to be maturing towards believing death where is your sting! Otherwise, every time I am reminded of what I have lost rather than what has been gained, I am undone, derailed–my faith unravels. For some this may sound a bit uncompassionate, but let me give you some clear examples of what I’m talking about.
Would you want a surgeon operating on you who couldn’t get past the patient he justÂ attempted to saveÂ that didn’t make it?Â Or would you marry someone still pining over the boy or girlfriend that they didn’t marry? That would be miserable!
I am a miserable Christian if I am still burying my dead and not following Jesus’ example.
Philippians 3: 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.. . .13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
The power of the resurrection is that what lies ahead is far greater than anything we leave behind! Like Paul I cannot claim that I have made this power central to my character yet. I have the head knowledge of this truth, but it has not penetrated my heart. The Lord has revealed (vs. 15)Â that heaven, and being with Jesus forever is still very abstract to me.Â But, Father I ask that you become my finish line! Open my eyes wide to your truth, your love and help me to mature in faith. May I become more focused on the living and celebrate with you that life is springing forth from Jonathan’s death. You are keeping your promise to me. Amen!