Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ticket at the End of Life

I was going through my posts today and found that I have a few that are still listed as "drafts" that I never posted. I was probably going to add a picture to this one and never got to it. This was originally written June 2, 2012....

George and I went to a funeral this week for a lady from church. Emma was 92 and I have known her as long as I can remember. I don't like funerals. Does anybody? Well, George seems to find them interesting. I don't like to think about death. Does anybody? But it is a part of life.

As I sat in the funeral home during the service I kept glancing over at my Grandpa often with tears in my eyes knowing that in the not-too-distant future I will be sitting in a similar situation again and again. He turned 92 yesterday. He has been slowing down considerably as of late and he isn't too happy about it. Pete cuts his grass each week to earn a bit of money and lately I've been coming along to help weed or plant flowers. Every time I do there Grandpa is, dragging barrels over for the weeds, trying to rake up the soil, anything he can with his now gnarled hands. But then he sadly tells me "I just can't do anything anymore". A few weeks ago he mopped his floor and the next day wondered why he was so "bushed" and sore. What a terrible feeling it must be to have to slow down.

 photo Me-and-Grandpa_zps28fb6fbb.jpg

I recently asked him how he felt about coming to the end of his life. Now, I know without a doubt that my sweet Grandpa trusts in Jesus as his Savior and will be in heaven when he dies but I wanted to know how it feels to know with certainty that your days left on earth are very few. He told me that he can't wait. He knows it won't be long and he longs to leave this earth. It is just getting "worse and worse" and what awaits us in heaven is where he desires to be. Now, admittedly I desire heaven -- someday. But now? It is hard to say I am longing for it when I am here delighting in my growing family. I asked him if he always felt that way but his hearing is not good and I don't know that he understood me because he just repeated how bad this world is getting.

And while I am trusting in Christ for my salvation that doesn't stop the at times uncertainty of the unknown of living forever. And at those times I am reminded of something that Corrie TenBoom, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps wrote about what her father told her when she was fearful about persecution or death -- “Corrie,” he began gently. “When you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?” “Why, just before we get on the train.” “Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.” 

It seems that my Grandpa is ready for his ticket. And I know too that when that day comes God will give me the strength I need to press on.




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