Thursday, December 10, 2009

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This Earthly Tent: A Saint Enters the Final Hours

Mrs. Jailer is back in the Philippines with her father, who is entering his final hours on earth.  Rolando "Rolly" Rosales has lived a full life, and will soon be reunited with his wife, Remy in perfect peace and rest.

Today my wife and most of her siblings are together with him, and today they made the decision not to continue extraordinary measures to extend his life.  This can be a crushing choice, but for the believer it is made so much easier by the fact that our hope is not for this life, but for the one to which Rolly is about to enter: 
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
I recall a quote by Bob Boardman after he had accepted that cancer would soon take him:  "My greatest fear is that God would yet heal me."  He was only half joking ... Bob knew that this mortal life is full of groaning, but that those who are in Christ will one day be swallowed up by life of quite another sort--one of eternal peace, joy, and face-to-face fellowship with our Lord.

Like Bob, Rolly is about to "break the tape" and enter into his rest.  Those of us who remain behind will mourn his passing, but we do so with the comfort of knowing that to die in the Lord is great gain and the ultimate objective of this life.  Good bye, Rolly ... until we meet again!

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