Recently (March 14, 2012) my cousin Don was promoted to glory and eternally united with his Lord.
Don and his wife Jean were prayer warriors. They were active in prayer rooms in their city of Vancouver, B.C. In the months prior to becoming ill Don was working on a prayer walk of his entire city and he physically walked and prayed for all the north—south streets in Vancouver. Then due to his unexpected illness he was unable to physically walk the east—west routes. But, using a map he prayed over the people living and working on those streets from his bed!
This reminds me of what I call my “senior verse.” “But those who wait on the Lordshall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Notice the progression from flying with eagles, to running without tiring, and then to walking without losing heart. Experientially we know that in many cases we regress from flying, to running, to walking, to standing, to being bedridden, prior to meeting our Creator.
In other words, physical life is not a continual upward climb. The moment we are born we have started the process of dying. But Don, like so many other of God’s redeemed children, was in an upward progression spiritually. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Don fully understood the concept of being renewed in his inner being and of laying up treasures in heaven as he considered his eternal existence. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). His heart aligned with the love of God for his neighbors and his city; however, he looked forward to the eternal city, his final and eternal destination.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. ForI am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which isfar better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:21-27, emphasis added).
Have you, like Don, experienced the joy of standing fast regardless of your outward circumstances, and to trust your small life to the One who created you?