Psalm 116. Wasn’t on yesterday’s reading plan, but it was the psalm of the day. I prayed it over a daughter of the King last night shortly before she went home to be with her Savior. And, like the songwriter, I too declare,
I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
(Psalm 116:1 ESV)
After almost two weeks of keeping vigil as Sue’s fearfully and wonderfully made body underwent an orderly and peaceful shutdown of all it’s God created systems, our family was able to give a final kiss and say to a beloved wife and mother, “See you later. We’ll miss you so much!”
Someone’s eyes were always on Sue. She was rarely left alone and even then but for a few minutes. We watched and wept. We remembered and rejoiced. We said goodbye and we gave God thanks for such a precious gift and wonderful love.
But we weren’t the only ones with eyes on Sue.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.
(Psalm 116:15 ESV)
Not gonna romanticize death. It’s not precious. It’s a symptom of the brokenness and separation that has entered our world because of man’s sin and rebellion against God. But death has lost it’s sting and is a defeated foe. Now serving as but a transport for those who have trusted in the shed blood of Jesus to atone for their sin and to restore the hope of eternal life for which they were created.
But His saints are precious. Precious in the sight of the LORD are His saints. Highly valued in His eyes are those owned as His people. Prized are those purchased by the blood of His Son. Splendid are those who have heard the Shepherd’s voice and responded, “Yes, Lord!”
His saints are precious in His sight. In life and in death. During the days of seeking first the kingdom, and during the days of preparing to go home. During the days of seeking, by His grace, to serve Him faithfully, and during the days of surrendering, by His grace, our souls trustingly.
Every day He has numbered. Every day comes with the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Every day He sees from heaven. And every day, especially those days when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He doesn’t let us out of His sight.
More than just some pie-in-the-sky, sweet-by-and-by sentiment. It is the sure hope of the believer.
And so, amidst sorrow there is joy. Weeping is accompanied by wonder. With the separation comes the anticipation. And, the grief is cloaked in gratitude.
What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD . . I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
(Psalm 116:12-13, 17 ESV)
Though last night was painful, still it was precious.
Because of grace. For His glory.