Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Dying Grandpa

There was a grandpa who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness some time ago who learned that his illness was now in the final stages.  He was going to die within weeks. 
Death did not scare him because he knew of the treasures that lie ahead.  However, he was heartbroken about how to tell his six-year-old granddaughter about death.  He struggled and prayed to God, “Please, give me the words to explain death to my granddaughter.”  Then, all of a sudden, he knew the Lord had given him the perfect way to explain death.

The next day, he asked that his granddaughter be brought to his house.  When his granddaughter arrived, the grandpa said, “Honey, you know how much I love you.  Grandpa has something very important he needs to talk to you about.”

“OK, Grandpa,” the little girl responded.

The grandpa continued, “I need to talk to you about death . . . you see, your grandpa has just learned that I’m going to die soon, but before it happens, I need to explain it to you.”

“I don’t understand, Grandpa,” the girl said.

“I know you don’t understand . . . but hopefully I can show you what it is like” said the grandpa.  “In just a moment, I’m going to get up and go into my study.”  His study was the room right next to the living room where the two of them were talking.  “Once I go into my study, I’m going to close the door.  I want you to wait out here for a couple of minutes.  Then, I want you to come into the study to be with me” said the grandpa.

“OK, grandpa,” the girl responded with a quizzical look on her face.

So the grandpa took one long look at his granddaughter, gave her a big kiss on the cheek, and went toward his study.  As he opened the door and began to enter the other room, he looked back one last time at his granddaughter and said, “Now remember, grandpa loves you!”

When the grandpa went into his study and closed the door, he could hear his granddaughter fidgeting in the other room.  Finally, he heard the small steps approaching the door.  The door handle turned slowly and the girl gradually opened the door.  When she got the door opened, the grandpa was standing there saying, “Come here!”  And with that, he wrapped her in his arms and gave her another big kiss.

“That’s what death is like, honey,” said the grandpa.

“I still don’t understand,” she said.

“Honey, when I got up from the living room and went into my study and closed the door, could you see me?”

“No, grandpa.”

“Could you hear me?”

“No, grandpa.”

“Did you know that I was still alive?”

“Of course, Grandpa, because I knew you were in the other room.”

The grandpa said, “That’s exactly what death is like.  There will be a time soon when you will no longer be able to see me, nor hear me, but you’ll need to know that I’m still very much alive!”

This is the hope we have for anyone who dies as a believer in Jesus our Savior.  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”

So when a believer dies, he is still very much alive.  He is simply living in the other room.  Of course Jesus has also told us about that other room.  “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Boy & the Steam Paddle Boat

During the early 1900’s along the shores of the mighty Mississippi River there was a young boy sitting on the river bank fishing.  An older man came along and struck up a conversation with the boy. 
The old man asked the boy how often he fished at this spot and whether the fishing was any good there.  The boy said sometimes the fishing was good and sometimes it wasn’t, but the best part of fishing there was being by the river.

Soon into their conversation, a steam paddle-boat began making its way up the river.  When the boy saw the boat, he stood up, pulled a big white handkerchief out of his pocket and started waving it at the boat.

The old man said, “What are you doing?”

The boy replied, “I’m waving down that boat to come over here and pick me up!”

The old man then said, “Son, that boat has important places to go and it has important people aboard and valuable cargo that must be transported to the next port.  That boat won’t come over here and pick you up!”

The boy didn’t say a word.  He kept waving his handkerchief.

All of a sudden the boat, which was on the other side of the river, started to maneuver across the river.  It kept getting closer and closer . . . and the old man was amazed.  It eventually came right up to the river bank and let down its walkway.  When the walkway was fully lowered and reached the bank, the boy raced onto the walkway.

The old man quickly shouted out, “Hey, young boy, how did you know that boat would come over here and pick you up?”

“My dad is the captain!” the boy replied.

So what is the point of this little story?  In this story, the old man represents the “intelligence” of this age.  Scientists think they know all there is to know and they, by and large, have concluded there is no God.  They love to ridicule “elementary minds” that believe in such non-sense.

However, those “elementary minds” have an ability that a scientific mind will never possess . . . the ability to have faith.  The Bible tells us that faith is the “confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.  It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see” (Heb. 11:1 NLT).  The scientific mind will never have faith because it cannot accept anything it cannot see.

The Bible also tells us that it is only by faith that we can “see” and perceive God.  God does not reveal Himself through science, but through faith in Him.

The science community, therefore, tells us that death is the end of human existence.  They are like the old man in this story who condescendingly told the little boy that the boat would surely not come over to the river bank to pick the boy up.

The boy represents the humble Christian who has faith . . . who knows that His Heavenly Father and His Lord will come get him when his time on this earth is done.

So let the mockers mock and the scoffers scoff at us silly Christians who believe our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus will pick us up someday as well.  But here’s the funny thing about us Christians . . . we hope all the mockers and scoffers will someday get onboard.  I’m truly not looking forward to seeing any of their faces when they realize they missed the boat!