Psalm 116:15 – "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
Psalm 116 is my favorite passage of scripture. It has meant so much to me at so many different times in my life. I thought of this verse immediately when I learned that my father had died. We are here in Serbia and there is a 7 hour time difference from back home. Mom called me at midnight. I was scarcely awake when I heard her crying on the other end saying, "He's gone! Dad is gone."
He had recently turned 70 and was is great health. My parents were on a cruise celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. It was a quick and massive heart attack. There was no coming back.
It doesn't seem precious to us when our loved ones die, but it is precious to God. As sad as we are to lose dad, Jesus is even more extremely happy to see him! This is a soul that Christ gave up the riches and beauty of heaven to come to earth and live for. This is a soul that Christ forsook the tempting pleasures of earth and died for. This is the soul that Christ overcame death and rose again for! Now Christ has the honor to see the fruits of all He accomplished. He is very pleased. This soul is precious to Him!
Dwayne and I were asked to give our testimony at the Baptist church here in Serbia last Sunday. I went to Psalm 116 again. It describes my testimony perfectly. "I love the Lord for He heard my voice. He heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live..." (vs. 1-2) I have always thought that the Psalm described me so well. However, this time, I looked at it in a different light.
"Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living." (vs. 7-9)
I used to think these verses applied just to me - delivering me from the death my sins deserve, my eyes from the tears shed over my past, my feet from the many times I fall into my selfish desires, so that I can now walk before God during my lifetime.
Now I see these verses apply even more to my dad. His soul can finally return to his rest because the Lord has been good to him. He has been delivered from death. His eyes no longer cry. His feet no longer stumble. He is walking – right there, before the Lord! And he is definitely in the land of the living –where there will never be more death, but eternal life!
I can't end this any better than the Psalmist did – Praise the Lord!!!