This is a rare week. Two posts! But this one is more important that what will come out tomorrow.
This week, my grandmother Ruth Evelyn Rowlen went to be with Jesus. I’m not sure exactly how old she was – full disclosure, I can’t ever remember how old anyone is. I have to continually remind myself that I’m 27, and I know my parents are in their mid-50s. That’s all I got.
But this has been a strange experience. She has been in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s for the last several years, and even before that things were deteriorating. So I can’t say that it’s a sad time. I mean, there definitely is an aspect of sadness to it, but it feels much more like relief. Alzheimer’s is a terrifying disease, because it completely debilitates you. And knowing that my grandmother loved the Lord, it made me long to see her relief finally come. And it has. Death, where is your victory? Where is your sting? It is but a release into the actual, physical, real presence of our Lord. And that’s amazing.
But the thing about death, and especially the death of a believer, is that it brings about a time of remembrance. I have really enjoyed sitting with my family, playing with all the kids, and hearing my dad, my uncle, and my aunts tell funny stories – stuff I never even knew.
I see our family, I see the people that my grandmother impacted, and tonight I’ll meet a bunch of people who I’ve never seen before but they’ll insist the knew me when I was *this* tall. And maybe they did know me back then. I wouldn’t know any different. But I’m thankful for the opportunity to tangibly see what my grandmother meant to people.
We’ve kind of known this was coming for a while now. Especially in the last 2 weeks or so. And since then, the last verse to the hymn “Jesus I My Cross Have Taken” has been stuck in my head. It’s such a beautiful picture of what death actually is, for those in Christ. So I’ll leave you with it:
Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer.
Heaven’s eternal days before thee,
God’s own hand shall guide us there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.
Faith to sight. Prayer to praise.
Come, Lord Jesus.