Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties.
After all, everyone dies—
so the living should take this to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for sadness has a refining influence on us.
A wise person thinks a lot about death,
while a fool thinks only about having a good time.
Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 NLT
The word puts terror in our bones! We know it's coming but we ignore it when we can, and we act like we will live on this earth forever. But then there's the health crisis, the loss of a loved one, the thoughts in the darkness of night, the day-mare or nightmare. And the realization of the truth of where we are all heading (some of us sooner than later) comes sneaking or crashing in. And then we have to face the inevitable or drown it all out with some artificial comfort.
In my first post of this current series on the refining influence of sadness and sorrow, a sweet kindred-spirit friend left a comment reflecting on the Ecclesiastes passage above (which was also in that first post). Tresca's comment comes out of a deep walk with her Abba Father God through years of suffering. So I asked my friend Tresca if she could amplify her comment to share her insights here at "a branch in the VINE."
It's with pleasure that I pass on these thoughts. Thank you, Tresca, for helping your brothers and sisters in the family of God not only redefine DEATH, but also see our LIFE on this earth as it truly is.
Here is Tresca's original comment followed by her reflections:
...With my inoperable brain aneurysms, I think about death often, but death has a new name... HOME! I can’t wait to GO HOME!! We are experiencing just the appetizers with Jesus now. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE FULL COURSE MEAL WITH HIM AND PAPA!!
Paul said it this way (my paraphrase), “To be absent from this earthly, decaying, weak and fragile body is to be FULLY ALIVE and FULLY PRESENT with my Lord!” I will be stripped of my earthly weaknesses, sicknesses, and living unhindered by the flesh, the world, and all limitations. Then I can completely enjoy my Lord without any distractions, worries, or other cares. I long for that day to go HOME!
In 2016, I was looking out the window of my soul each day asking, “Papa, is it time yet?” The pain, depression, and brain atrophy was taking its toll on my soul, but never my spirit. I was waiting for the day Papa, would say, “Okay baby, your time is complete.” He never did. But what He did was taught me how to close my eyes and curl up in His arms whenever the darkness in my soul got too unbearable. He taught me some amazing lessons about His grace and awesome love for me I could not have learned them any other way. Knowledge does not reveal our Lord to us, it can only point us to Him. Wisdom sits in our soul to reveal the life and purposes of God. Wisdom comes to teach us in dark and barren places where Christ is our only hope.
Through those hours of depression, sadness, loss, and despair, I found home. Home is within us! It is the Kingdom of God, Jesus pointed to in the Gospel. It is not far away. It is a matter of us taking off our ‘earth-suit’ and then we will see, we have been home all alone.
Paul said, Ephesians 2:6 And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus…
No, dear sisters and brothers, you don’t have far to go to go home… just look inside where your Jesus resides, then YOU ARE HOME. One day when we will put off this body of flesh then we will see this beautiful mystery, we are NOW hidden with Christ In God!
When you think of a place called Home, what do you think about? Here is my answer, I wrote this song a few years ago.
A PLACE CALLED HOME
Everyone in search of you
Everyone longs to find you
A place to lay their heads
A place to find food and be fed
A place where laughter is the feast
A place where joy never cease
A place called home.
It is that place in You my Lord
It is that place in You my King
It is where you sit upon Your throne
Where each day I worship You alone
It is this place within my spirit, called home.
Home is where my Father dwells
Home is where my Jesus lives
Home is where my soul find rest
Home is where the angels sing
Home is where the anthems ring
Of your glory, of your grace
Home is now no mystery
My blinded eyes now see
Just abiding in You such victory
Copyright © 2016 by Tresca Grannum
To further explore in Scripture your union with God through faith in His glorious Son here and now in this life and into the next, please take a look at my book: The With-ness of our God: Relationship in Every Dimension. (Click here for description and ordering information).