My wife’s grandmother is slipping away from us. A dear saint of God, a sweetheart of a West Virginian, the loving matriarch of a large family. She has always loved each one unconditionally. She has always shared everything she had with all of us. Even the “ex” family members and ornery ones were always welcome in her front room and around her table. She always treated every human being with the utmost respect and dignity. As you can imagine, this is an emotional time for the family. But, she has lived a good, Godly, and full life. And at the age of 92, she is ready to meet her Savior.
Why would the death of a person be something special to God? It certainly wouldn’t be some kind of sadistic pleasure in death itself. That’s not the God I know and follow. No, it must be something else.
I believe that Christ finds the death of his saints precious because it means that his love and sacrifice to reconcile mankind to himself has now been completed. Scripture talks about the process of “being saved” from evil ways and “being reconciled” with God. As long as we walk this earth in this human form, we will always be “in process.” But, when we take our leave of absence from this world and enter into His presence our ticket is stamped with the word “COMPLETE.” Christ’s work in our lives is now complete. And Christ rejoices in that completed work.
I also want to believe that Christ’s rejoicing also involves a home-coming. Jesus promised that He is preparing a place for all of his saints (John 14:2-3). For many decades now, Granny’s home has been ready and waiting for her. The only problem is, that under her nameplate has been the sign “Reserved.” Soon it will replaced with one that reads “Occupied.” I believe that one of Christ’s favorite things to do is to take his saint by the hand and walk them through the front door of their new homestead…show them every room…hug them tight and welcome them home. This world has never been her home, she has always lived for somewhere much better. Home Sweet Home.
Granny – you’re all packed and He’s waiting. He’ll stamp your ticket and walk you home.
Leave of absence.