A dear friend recently lost his son who battled cancer for 11 of his 23 years, and although this young man was lost to cancer he was won to Jesus. As a father who has buried a son, the blow is devastating…survival is possible only through the grace of Jesus Christ. A colleague wrote me the day after Eddie was killed that a parent should never have to bury a child…so true.

Yesterday I was listening to Steven Curtis Chapman’s newest CD titled “Beauty Will Rise” and it includes songs that Steven describes as his personal psalms chronicling his journey through losing his youngest daughter. I thought I would cry listening to it; in fact I told my wife and daughter I would have to listen to it alone in my office. However, I listened to it on my iPod at work yesterday and the tears never came. Instead there was constant agreement…yes, yes that is how it feels!

It has been 27 months since we lost Eddie and some days it feels as only yesterday and other days as though this hollowness was always there. It’s like a scar. And yet the emptiness is filled with the grace of Jesus and yes…beauty that rises from such a tragedy. I’m constantly reminded of the chorus from the old Jim Croce song “Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)”:

    Isn’t that the way they say it goes
    But let’s forget all that
    And give me the number if you can find it
    So I can call just to tell them I’m fine and to show
    I’ve overcome the blow
    I’ve learned to take it well
    I only wish my words could just convince myself
    That it just wasn’t real
    But that’s not the way it feels
    (Underlining added)

Unlike the caller in the song, I have overcome the blow and learned to take it well. However it is not my words that convince me and no matter how much I wish it wasn’t real, knowing it will never feel that way, Jesus helps me overcome the blow. He is helping Steven’s family and him overcome the blow and he will help my friend and his family. How?

    “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)

I know my Eddie, Steven knows his Maria, and my friend knows his son have inherited incorruption because of their faith in Jesus Christ. And because we fathers too know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we too will inherit incorruption and one day be in Heaven with not only with our departed children, but also all our departed Christian family and friends. That is why I can claim David’s assurance:

    “Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:4-5)

Joy comes in the morning, overcoming the blow, healing our hearts, and allowing us to sing praises to Jesus.

Death will come in 2010; it always comes. It will come to some whom we know and love. I pray it doesn’t come to any of us, but it could. It could come for me. I do not fear it; it does not cast a long shadow over me. My son’s brothers-in-arms wondered how Eddie could so fearlessly and ferociously attack the enemy and he told them it was because he did not fear death. He wasn’t seeking it; he wanted to live as much as the next guy; but he did not fear death. Eddie knew that death’s sting was gone.

Do you know that?

Or is your most valuable possession your last breath? Do you hang on to that for dear life, willing to pay any price to not have to give it up?

Why live in such fear?

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

That is a promise from Jesus Himself.

Do you fear what the future holds?

Why live in such fear?

    “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

That is a promise from Jesus Himself.

Be of good cheer; receive everlasting life!

I have overcome the blow to the glory of God and although I miss my boy every waking moment I know he waits anxiously for me to get to heaven so he can show me around. That will be a glorious day!

    There is coming a day when no heartaches will come
    No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye.
    All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore
    What a day, glorious day that will be.


    What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see
    And I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace.
    When He takes me by the hand and leads me through the Promised Land.
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

    There’ll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear
    No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there.
    And forever I will be with the One who died for me
    What a day, glorious day that will be.


In Christ
Ps. 37:4

“If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please click here and use “Please add to Devotional List” as the subject.”

    Copyright © 2009 David Jeffers


, , , , , , , ,