I have written before about our family’s journey with our grandchild, Aaron James. (AJ) He flew home to Jesus just a few days after his 2nd birthday. He was a most precious gift for those brief years. He had turned our lives upside down even before he was born, but that is a story for another day. He was severely afflicted in a most mysterious way, with seizures, paralysis, a ventilator, feeding tube, monitors. His continuous, frequent emergencies requiring our intervention to save him, became commonplace to us. We know that it is a far better thing for him to be with the Lord than to be in our arms, but, still…grief is never far below the surface. We do not grieve like the world, without hope, because we know we will see him again one day…but, still…it creeps up on you when you least expect it.
And so it was on Sunday night in church. It seemed to me that God reached out and put His finger right on that tender spot in my heart. Right on the spot that is rubbed raw with the guilt of not seeing that sweet boy healed. That spot that cries out, “Oh, ye of little faith.” and “You didn’t pray hard enough!” “You should have done this or that.” All that believing and hoping and loving! All those nights walking the floor, crying out to God, rebuking the devil! What a waste!
Sunday night’s lesson was on 1Corinthians 13. You know, the “Love Chapter.” I’ve heard a lot of teaching on this passage of scripture over the years, so I wasn’t expecting to be undone by the truth here. But, still… I was. This is what the scripture says here, in part: Charity (love) does this —
7 “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
and further on…
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” KJV
And suddenly I was thunderstruck with the clarity of it!! All of the other gifts shall cease; even knowledge shall vanish…but, all of your faith, all of your hope, all of your love…abides forever. These are eternal graces that abide with you in eternity. Never a waste! Even when you do not receive the desired result. Even when your loved one dies, or is not healed! Even when your prayer doesn’t seem to be answered, or you feel all alone, and abandoned. Faith, hope, and love remain! They are treasure! They are gold! You are laying them up in heaven! They are working an “eternal weight of glory!”
You see, Hebrews 11, “The Faith Chapter,” tells us that some of God’s people “through faith subdued kingdoms…obtained promises… receive their dead raised to life again.” But, others “received not the promise!” But still were counted to have had faith! They will still receive the answer to their prayers..in another time and another place. Their treasure is laid up for them.
One of the ladies in our church testified that her granddaughter would have died without a kidney transplant. They prayed with all of their hearts. Praise God, her father was able to give her a kidney. She is a beautiful young woman now, living a full and happy life. They received the promise! We rejoice with them! Our boy left us for heaven. We didn’t receive our promise…yet. But our faith, hope, and love was NOT wasted! We will find it waiting there in eternity with Aaron James. God’s Kingdom is not subject to the constraints of time. Friends, He isn’t finished yet!
2 Corinthians 4:17 explains it like this:
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; KJV
Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God! Sorrows, afflictions, prayers, tears, faith, hope, and especially, love.
Never again will I let my enemy accuse me of wasting my faith, my hope, my prayer, my tears and my love. All will be waiting for me when I see Jesus one day.
Let’s pray: We look to You, Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, to lead us into all truth; to touch the sorrows that we carry; to heal our hearts of guilt and regret. Though we see through shadows now, when the daybreak comes we will see clearly. We look for You! In Your name we pray,