j0384713“Jesus wept.”  The easiest scripture verse to memorize.  Ever think about it?  Why weep?  If Jesus knew He could and would raise Lazarus from the dead, that in only moments there would be great rejoicing and amazement–why the tears?  This is our compassionate Savior.  To watch the effects of sin wreak havoc and destruction through every generation, upon poor creatures who were made for His pleasure and praise was grievous to Him.   Sin rips, shreds, mutilates what was intended to be a blissful perfect existence between the Creator and ourselves.  It causes heartache.  It leaves many casualties in it’s wake.  It is grievous to our God.  The effects of death weighed more heavily upon His heart than anyone else’s in history.  Sin is the reason for death.  It would bring the Lord pain, agony, suffering, shame, excruciating separation and death…all “for the joy that was set before Him.”  With His, “It is finished” the joy began. 

We just learned this week that a dear friend and neighbor from our childhood days has gone Home.  We called her “Aunt Mabel”…no relation biologically, but in the Lord, yes.  She is experiencing “joy unspeakable and full of glory” today.  Perhaps she has greeted my charming Daddy already.  While we as a family are so grateful that she was spared any further suffering here on earth, we still hurt.  We will sorely miss this delightful lady, who, one rainy day could not get the top to operate on her old Mercury convertible, so she was seen driving down the street, top down,  with one hand on the wheel and rain pattering upon an umbrella she held in the other.  She was fun, compassionate, a blessing to know.  The subtraction of her person from our lives leaves an aching void.

But, we also consider this:

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  1 Thess. 4:13

This is not the end.  In very many respects, it is the beginning.  Every time I experience this kind of pain, though, my heart hurts even more for those who have no  hope.  How do you mourn, grieve…when there is no hope?  That must be supreme agony.  What blessed hope we have…and the reuniting with beloved friends and family is amazingly a very small portion of it.  We’ll see our Savior.  We’ll be able to say with M’Cheyne, “When I see Thee, as Thou art, love Thee with unsinning heart….Then, Lord, shall I fully know, not ’til then how much I owe.” 

We cannot imagine.  Imagination is limited to experience.  Think of the sweetest time in fellowship in the Spirit that you have ever known…a time in the word, or in worship, or prayer, when you were loathe to return to mundane life.  This will be far above and beyond that, and all that we could ask or think.  “Marvelous” doesn’t begin to describe the ecstacy.  Do you find it hard to beckon your gazing soul away from this gorgeous aspiration?   

Enjoy, rejoice, exult, Aunt Mabel…we’ll all be there soon.


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