Pastor's Blog

Walking on New Streets Posted 9.06.2013

It seems like just yesterday that we were walking the streets of Jerusalem and the hills of Galilee together.  Three weeks ago we sat together in her room, she with a big smile and calm disposition, and me with thoughts of what was next for her….and was I ready to board that plane for Uganda.  She promised me she’d be waiting for me when I returned and her daily prayers would be in Bombo the medical clinic unfolded.


This weekend we remembered her life.  Her faith.  Her joy.  Her bright outlook prompted by a deep and rich faith in Jesus.  I hadn’t landed in Africa (or even Dubai) before she had slipped the bonds of earth and glimpsed the face of her Savior.  She left behind a legacy of faithfulness.  She modeled a strong faith, which I saw blossom the closer she got to His presence. 


I never know what I will find when I spend time with those who are nearing life’s end.  Some are quiet, others full of hope and grace.  As we talked, read Scripture, and prayed that morning, Shirley Cutting knew the path that was before her.  She did not know the details, but she knew her time on earth was limited and she was at peace with that reality. 


Today I know that there is really only one thing that makes us different from Shirley.  It is that Shirley had perfect peace in the plan of God for her life.  She could rest completely in Jesus.  The way I stew about life makes it pretty clear to me that I am not where Shirley was.  Oh, how I long to trust like Shirley.  Today.


We had such a wonderful time in Israel together.  It was a small group of pilgrims who walked more than we’d walked in a long time.  We could wrestle with the truth of the Word as The Land was displayed before us just like a fifth Gospel.  I can face Shirley’s passing with confidence because she trusted completely in her Savior, and that was no more evident than in the last days of her life.


Peninsula has faced too many end-of-life stories this year.  But I guess we cannot expect that to change.   We serve the God who was faithful to His people as an entire generation passed away in the desert as they wandered for forty years.  Forty years of funerals.  And yet, as they approached the Land, they came in with great trust in the God who brought them to its doorstep.   And it is now our turn to trust.


And so must be our faith.  At each grave we recall the faithfulness of God and depth of our trust in Him.  Whatever path He chooses for us, we will walk under the care and guidance of His love and grace.  Soon, we’ll walk the streets of a New Jerusalem -- with Shirley, swapping stories of God’s faithfulness this side of heaven.  May that hope give strength to our hearts today. Until that day, we wait.  And trust.


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