Sunday, April 14, 2013

Oh, to Behold the Savior’s Face!

On a magnificent hike from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, my husband and I viewed the remnants of these charred trees, glimpses of a forest that once had been.  To many in their final days upon earth, the "had beens" of life are the only memories left upon the photo gallery of wasted years.  They wish for something they never attained. 

Someday all I will have left are memories, for my moments here will be past.  Considering that reality, my husband asked me last summer, “Won’t you be glad to see Jesus [in Heaven]?” 

I couldn’t answer him for a while, since I had to that time considered Jesus as my invisible God but had rarely reflected upon Him as the Perfect Man.  Someday, I realized, these eyes would behold my Friend who has walked with me on this journey below.  If I would but see this Friend beside me, encountering every danger and assisting me in defeating obstacles to bring me to victory--what a different life I would live!  How my conversation would be affected, my habits changed, my speech considerate of His Word and His perspective.  Never should I feel alone or lacking confidence, for He is ever at my side.  Never should I experience the pangs of unkind words, for He is my shield, my buckler, my protection, my fortress. 

When I did answer my husband that night, I said, “I think I would be ashamed."  How I long to live each day viewing my Friend with the eyes of faith, so that I with joy may behold His face in Heaven someday.
Oh, to behold the Savior’s face
Each day as I walk below
And to perceive His shadow near
Every pathway on which I go!

Oh that I’d know His presence close
As He journeys by my side
Oh, to live daily with my Lord,
In His Spirit to abide!

Then shall I enemies overcome;
My foes will defeated be.
And I shall face with confidence
The life God’s designed for me!

Then I’ll rejoice in His constant grace,
Secure in unending love;
And I’ll reflect Christ’s holiness
With an eye on the world above!

Oh that each day I might partake
In this view of my Savior God,
The Friend who has spared my cursed soul
From Hell’s ever-chastening rod!

Then shall my soul embrace His way
His Spirit, my face make shine!
Oh, for a view of Jesus Christ
Each moment to make sublime!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This Vapor that Is Life

The news of her death stunned me.  Partly because she was the embodiment of my childhood dreams.  Partly because she had once seemed too perfect for what appeared to me a flawed ending.  Partly because I saw my life would be nearly extinguished had our roles been reversed.

Talent.  Spirituality.  Femininity.  Godly leadership.  She possessed them all.  Observing from a distance, I noted her life—and her death. 

She "home schooled all her children and coached them diligently in their piano and string practicing," the obituary read.  At 23, I had already written that in my plans for myself.  She "was a humble and kind homemaker who always had serving others as her goal." That was somewhere on the blueprint I had designed.  A women's speaker who encouraged others.  That, too, was on my list of goals. 

But just yesterday, stark reality met dreamy uncertainty.  News of her home-going awakened a deep spring somewhere in the depths of my being.  For any moment wasted at the wishing well of what ifs, I had only an uncertain number of nows.  This day, for one.  This breath for another.  

Every precious second counted.  Every minute mattered.  Every day demanded delight.  I had the gift of the present, the reality that may be lost at any time.  Do I drink deeply at the well of thanksgiving, daily rebounding from the plethora of blessings poured out from my ever good Giver? 

Oh, how this moment’s preciousness sparkled in my mind as I considered well the uncertain brevity of life.  May I never forget the vapor that is life!