This week Harry Sprinkle died. I was filled with grief for the family. Over the years several family members have died during the month of December. How are we to respond death? How are we to respond to those left behind, full of grieve, over the absence of their loved one. As I
sat here grieving for his family who is left behind, I find that words to
express my feeling of sympathy just do not suffice. Many times as this morning, I realized just how difficult it is to deal with death. Out of my well meaning gesture, just as Viola picked up the telephone, I asked, "How are you doing?" What a no brain er, and I apologized. We can say we are sorry and yet for the deceased it can be a relief from suffering and pain. There again we cannot say, I am so happy for him, knowing the grief the family member is feeling.
We want to express our
grief to the family, and at the same time rejoice, if that one knows Jesus as Lord and Savior. I believe that we can grieve with those left behind and at the same time rejoice with the departed one. We just have to learn constructive ways of doing this.
I used to say we packed our bags, and are ready to go. Actually, as followers of Jesus, the day we accepted Jesus we begin ridding ourselves of all the worldly things we hold to, to make the journey, knowing that Jesus could return for us at any time. This world is temporary, and in God's time we will leave this world. This week, with his eyes and heart focused on Jesus, Harry let go of this world.
I thought about the song, "Steppin on a Cloud" by Linda Stalls
in 1974. While I am not sure that this song expresses correct theology, about what takes place when we die, there is an underlying truth is in this song. No longer will Harry feel the weight of this world, in fact he will be "steppin on a cloud."
Steppin on a Cloud
One of these days (one of these
I'm gonna leave (I'm gonna leave)
Oh, it won't be long (one
of these days)
'Til I'm going home (I'm going home)
Ooo, I'll take
(I'm gonna take)
My final journey (my final journey)
I'm gonna rest
(I'm gonna rest)
In the heaven blue dawn (in the heaven blue dawn)
Sometimes I get in a hurry (Gonna
pass the moon)
The stars and the planets (the stars and the
I'm gonna walk (I'm gonna walk)
On that milky white way
(on the milky white way)
Oh, and Gabriel (me and old Gabriel)
gives the signal (he gives the signal)
I'm gonna leave (I'm gonna
For heaven to stay (for heaven to stay)
Steppin' on a cloud
we'll see Jesus Rise to meet Him in the air
Steppin' on a cloud He
will greet us Oh, the joy together we'll share
I'm gonna leave this
world behind me I'm a going where the devil cannot find me
To meet Jesus steppin' on a
cloud (steppin' on a cloud)
I'm going higher (higher) to praise
him (higher), higher (higher) to thank him (higher) I'm going higher
(higher) to meet him (higher), higher (higher) to greet him (higher) Going
up higher (higher), higher (higher), higher (higher), higher (higher) To
meet Jesus steppin' on a cloud (steppin' on a cloud)
Now don't you wanna praise him
(higher), praise him (higher), praise him (higher), praise him (higher) I
said praise him (higher), praise him (higher), praise him (higher), praise him
(higher) You'll meet Jesus steppin' on a cloud Steppin' on a cloud,
steppin' on a cloud.
My sympathy goes to the family. We love you and you have touched many lives... and Harry, you will be missed by many people.
How do you view death?
Are you prepared to meet Jesus or are you still weighed down with the troubles of this world?
What do you need to do to prepare to meet Jesus?
Pray for God to reveal to you your present relationship to him. Pray that in his strength you will focus on him and not on the weight of this world. Pray that all the things that have pulled you away will loose their significance in your life. in you the need for personal withdrawal to spend time with God. In Jesus Name.