I wrote my friend to tell her that I was deeply saddened at the thought of her "home going” but that in my heart I am convinced she knows exactly where home is. She is a wise person in the sense of Daniel 12.3 and she knows that her name is written in the book. She has spent much of her life in the company of the Prince of Peace who has been, and is giving her an assurance that there is a place set aside for her when she finally arrives home.
Years before she had his confidence in the abiding Spirit of Christ she came to a realization that she was wandering about blind, lost and lonely. Then at just the right moment she came to understand that God's own dear Son, our Prince of Peace, in his mercy had provided an escape from the penalty of her self-destroying sin. When she embraced the gift of God in Christ everything changed. It's not that all the troubles of life went away but she discovered that the good Shepherd of her soul became her new delight. Since then he has been accompanying her on her journey home to that "undiscovered country" where she will see him face to face.
With these memories of her in mind I wrote her: "Now, whether your journey will be completed in short order or whether our Lord leaves you with us for another season, I am confident that his abiding presence will keep and sustain you. In due course, you along with myself and all who are friends of Christ will join that great company of “Overcomers" who surround the throne with their praises. That will be a great day indeed!"
At the men’s Bible study that meets at my house on Wednesday mornings at 5:45 a.m. we talked about Christ being at the right hand of God and how he intercedes on our behalf. Two of John Donne’s poems came up in our discussion.
Regarding death he writes:
Holy Sonnet X
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and souls delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings and desperate men
And dost with poison, war, and sicknesses dwell,
And poppy, or charmes can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
Of the transition to heaven he writes:
Holy Sonnet VI
This is my play's last scene; here heavens appoint
My pilgrimage's last mile; and my race
Idly, yet quickly run, hath this last pace;
My span's last inch, my minute's latest point;
And gluttonous Death will instantly unjoint
My body and soul, and I shall sleep a space;
But my ever-waking part shall see that face,
Whose fear already shakes my every joint.
Then, as my soul to heaven her first seat takes flight,
And earth-born body in the earth shall dwell,
So fall my sins, that all may have their right,
To where they're bred and would press me to hell.
Impute me righteous, thus purged of evil,
For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil
I love this passage from 2 Corinthians 4.13-18
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.