Rest In Peace; Live Into Promise
by Derek Maul
Published on March 16, 2022

Rest In Peace; Live Into Promise

“We don’t live for ourselves and we don’t die for ourselves. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to God. This is why Christ died and lived: so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14:7-9).

 The day I first became a grandfather my friend, John, died tragically a little earlier in the morning. It was the kind of juxtaposition of circumstance that brings the struggle between life and death into clear focus. The final victory has already been taken care of by Jesus, but we happen to live right here and right now, and there is both ground gained and ground lost on a day-to-day basis.

This is one more reason that I am so committed to the idea of vibrant Christian community. Christian community does not eliminate the struggle, but it does provide the appropriate context in which to take it on.

  • When things simply get to be too much.
  • When hope slips out of the room for a while.
  • When a spouse dies.
  • When a child is lost or out of control.
  • When life overwhelms.
  • When despair is a constant companion.
  • When things simply fail to make sense…

That is when community – rooted in love – must already be in place. Taking the journey together, being the presence of Christ, serving our brothers and sisters, celebrating together, holding hands when things look grim, sharing a cup of coffee, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

“So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times (Ephesians 5:15).

This life is about the journey. Light and dark; joy and sorrow; victory and defeat; pain and peace; the birth of a grand-child and a sudden death that is troubling and hard to understand.

Life is difficult, period, but death does not make it more so. And birth? Well, birth helps more than a little. Both ends of the spectrum – both sides of the same coin – are part of the definition of what it means to be faithful human beings in this time and place.

We are the mortal who constantly brush up against the immortal. We are born into eternity but fixed – for now – in time; defined by faith yet tested by doubt; released into possibility while still snagged in unbelief; looking into tomorrow through a vision sometimes clouded by tears.

So rest in peace, my friend John. And live into promise, dear David Henry.

In love, and because of love – DEREK

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Derek is a North Carolina-based writer, journalist, teacher and speaker. He is the author of numerous books on what the Bible reveals as essential in becoming a man of God.

He is convinced that his four grandchildren are exactly the hope and promise that this world needs. His conviction is important to understand because it reveals a lot about his theology, and how he believes our identity as God’s children plays out in the day-to-day experience of living in a world where darkness, disappointment, and defeat are all too common.

He is a committed encourager, and a pilgrim in progress. He divides his time between writing and traveling to speak about the fully engaged life. His passion is to connect people – men and women – with a more vibrant, authentic experience of what he calls “The Life-Charged Life.”

If you would like to read more, check out his author page at Amazon. Also check out his website and his daily blog.

Reading between the Lines, With Derek Maul is published every Wednesday on Christian Grandfather Magazine.

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