Monday, August 29, 2011

Not Our Home

Sometimes, the events of life seem so horrible that there is simply no way to explain, platitude our spiritualize our way out of them. Sometimes, though it sounds fatalistic, the only response seems to be, "this world is not our home." It may seem like a trite phrase (and not actually one contained in the Bible), but it expresses this verse well:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day...So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16, 18)

It can be easy to be at home and consider Allegheny Drive to be the final destination, living in modern-day America. It can be pretty nice. But seeing the experiences of some of my coworkers around the world reminds me that this is not our final destination - praise God! My coworkers in Haiti have often reminded me of this truth, through the series of trials they have battled over and over and over in just the 4 years I've been working for Compassion.

Seeing their perseverance amidst trial and amidst little hope that the material plight of this world will be changing has always reminded me of the importance of fixing our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. In placing our hope and joy not solely in the material, familial or relational joys of this life, but in God and our hope for eternity. This world will always ultimately disappoint; the latter, never.

Now, after many a hurricane, an earthquake, a burglary and the death of many a friend and family member, another tragedy has occurred to one of my Haitian friends. The adopted daughter of he and his wife was raped and murdered in their home.

It was senseless and brutal, and it is so hard to know how to respond. But here is how he has responded. It inspired and encouraged me, and I hope it will you too.

It was a brutal and premature demise, from which it will be difficult to recover. I cannot imagine what could be worse.

The Lord was on His throne when Jezebel conspired against Naboth, a righteous man, and ordered his death by stoning (I Kings 21). He was on his throne during the calamities in the family of Job (Job 1 and 2); and when John the Baptist was beheaded, the forerunner of the Savior of the world (Matt. 14: 1 to 13). He was there during the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7: 54 to 60). Moreover, He was there during the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His only beloved Son (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 22 and 23, John 18, 19).

So many stories of martyrdom through the annals of church history confirm the reality of His presence in our time of suffering. We must not allow ourselves to be smitten with love for the world because our destination is beyond this earthly life ... WE ARE NOT AT HOME!

The Lord was in control when the bandits were allowed to make [her] a martyr. God could have stopped it, but He did not. We wonder why, but we know that He is sovereign; and glory be to His name forever.

[She] is happy now; I have no doubt, because she was a true servant of God. She loved God more than anything. She meditated all the time on His word and prayed constantly. On the day of her assassination, she was reading in John 18 and 19 (a passage I mentioned above). We found her Bible open in this passage, laid on her bed.

Finally, [she] has gone to be with her Lord. No one knew that she would leave earth that way... I know that I will see my dear friend and adopted daughter again in eternal bliss. Today, her family, my wife and I are still suffering, but as for her, she will never suffer again! I am still weeping, but her tears have already been wiped away forever! Glory be to the immeasurable God who has allowed this to happen.

1 comment:

Elizabeth M. said...

Amen. This is true perspecitve...life is hard because it isn't home. Heaven is our home. I love that song... "The King Returns/to make it right/to make it new/to be the light/to end it all/and make it clear/collect the peace/ and dry the tears." That truly is the only thing that gives peace and comfort in the face of senseless tragedy or everyday hurt.g