2000-01-03 - The Sunny Day of Winter
1 Corinthians 15:55, "Where O death, is your victory? Where O death, is your sting?"
The seasons of the year have often been compared to the stages in our life. Spring is the season which represents youth and childhood, summer the years of an adult, autumn the movement toward and approach of old age, and winter, often in many climates cold, desolate, and lifeless, representing us in death.
Every created being has its four seasons. Even the fly has a spring, summer, autumn, and winter. And just as the fly, or the elephant, or deer becomes food for worms in death, so also do we: A heap of lifeless clay which once had a heart that beat with feeling, a mind that meditated, and eyes that sparkled. If you have ever seen the body of someone you knew and loved, the image of death in that lifeless body, in contrast to the image you knew of them in life, is shocking.
A heap of lifeless clay … food for worms … We must look deeper. We must be mindful that in death, the body that is now lifeless, once housed a soul. The soul survives the grave. And this is why the words of Christ are so important for us to take note of, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25
Our body houses a soul. And no matter what resolutions we have made for the coming new year, we ought to remember that exercising only fashions our clay, and eating better only purifies our clay. That clay is precious and we should shape it and keep it pure, but it is merely a loan from God for a time and then the worms will have it. Our souls however are not so. They live on. We ought to resolve, this year, to feed, shape, clean, and purify them.
For the Christian, the winter of death awakens to the glorious realities of endless sunny days. The soul goes to be with Christ. Would it not reason to focus and concentrate upon refining the soul? Would not wisdom and prudence dictate that in our remaining days we prepare for eternity?
Life is a great blessing. But our lives are more than this life. Our lives are a preparation for eternal life. All the stocks we can own, money market balances we can rack up, or second houses we can acquire on the water, do nothing but ease life here - the place we are leaving. The wise soul uses life here not to build up treasure, but as a preparative to eternal life. May God grant us grace that we may be found to be wise.
"There is none so old but thinks he may live one year longer; and though, in the general way, he say, "All must die," yet, in the false numbering of his own particular days, he thinks to live for ever." Nehiemiah Rogers
Soli Deo Gloria,