This week has brought me back to the place of continuously thinking of life, death, heaven, and relying fully on God’s strength. As another dear family member fights for life I keep thinking of heaven’s cheerleaders. I reminded our loved one that many people are praying and that he has a cheerleader in heaven, my dad. A single tear came from our loved one laying there unable to communicate with me. Little movements of his fingers at mine, a small nod of the head, “yes”, and the single tear were the signs given that he was still there and listening to my words.
The thought of heaven’s cheerleaders has overwhelmed me over this past year since my own father’s death. There is a humbling gratitude I feel for the blessing of being the offspring of a legacy of Jesus followers and having come to my own personal decision to follow Jesus. I know who is on my side and I am on the winning side. I am never alone. There are many saints who have gone on to be with Jesus who are cheering in heaven. God’s angel army is cheering and fighting for and with me. Best of all my greatest cheerleader, Jesus Christ, who fought my battle over sin! How awesome it is that when I feel darkness of sorrow trying to swallow me whole I just cry out to Jesus and joy overcomes the dark. The light of Jesus stomps out every hint of the darkness of despair. With God all things are possible and I am watching and waiting with great anticipation to see how God is going to answer my prayers in the next days and weeks. I can not imagine living life without Jesus and without my cheerleaders in heaven!!! Is Jesus your cheerleader or are you trying to rely on your own strength to get through this life?
Mark 10:27 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
Isaiah 41:10 ” Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Jeremiah 32:17 “‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. “
As I worked a little in our yard today I couldn’t help but notice all the stages of life our flowers are in. It is early autumn here and there are still new buds, fully bloomed flowers and of course dried up flowers whose short life has already been forgotten. This week during my quiet time I have been studying the book of Ecclesiastes. There is so much within this book that struck a chord with me. If God leads me to writing a book some day it may need to be an in depth study of Ecclesiastes. This book of the bible is a strong example of the fact that the scriptures are truly timeless as this book holds the infamous “A time for everything” verses (chapter 3 1-8) for starters. I am just stating the obvious. What impressed me more deeply were the questions of a man who lived around 3000 years ago. He lived nearly 1000 years before Jesus walked the earth. His questions, his despair, his struggle with how good things happen to the wicked and how bad things happen to good people, his struggles with his own sin, his own vanity, his own pride, his realization that his power and riches left an even deeper longing and pain in his soul. He began the writing 1:2 with “Meaningless!! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” How often in just the everyday activities has this been my own thought. Laundry is never done, there is always a project, always bills to pay, what is cleaned gets dirty again, there are always people bigger, better, and more talented. How often I have thought how quickly people are forgotten. Within one generation powerful lessons and skills are forgotten.
I can see so clearly that if a person has their eyes, hopes, and dreams set on the
meaningless quickly passing things of this world that it would be so easy to slip into despair. Why else would we see the ones who seem to have it all, fame, fortune, beauty, and talent slipping into a world of addictions. Often addicted to vanity with multiple surgeries to try to restore their youth, addicted to drugs, alcohol, sleeping pills. Many times retreating to a dark cluttered world full of materialism yet left with a feeling of emptiness. King Solomon wrote of how seeking worldly pleasures and riches left him with meaningless nothing.
Before Jesus walked the earth providing the one and only way to eternal life King Solomon wrote these words. 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” The rest of chapter three Solomon gives a glimpse of God’s final plan for judgment of every man. The end of this book Solomon’s conclusion of life’s burdening questions that remain just as strong today as ever is this; 12:13-14 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Throughout this book Solomon keeps going back to remembering God. Having the close relationship with God. Unlike Solomon we actually know the whole story of God’s plan to come to the earth fully human yet fully God, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the price of our sin that separates us from Him. He proved who He is by rising again. To provide the clear path to have a personal relationship with Him. To provide us the only way to eternal life with Him. One day we all will be like the brown shriveled up flower as this life will pass quickly. What has meaning? What lasts? Our relationship with God our creator, our healer, our sustainer, our source of true love, the truth, the life, our redeemer, our friend, the only good judge. What we do in this life with our eyes set fully on God. What we allow God to work through us and in us is what is lasting. Loving others and caring about the eternity of others is the only thing that is not meaningless. That is all that goes beyond the grave of this life.
Chapter 1:9-11 he writes “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new’?” It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.” It is my own observation in life that Jesus was and is the one and only NEW. He was Creator and He is Savior. His impact on this earth cannot be forgotten and cannot be changed. God’s word can not be destroyed nor forgotten. The word of God, Jesus, is the “new” Solomon was longing for. Jesus is what all our hearts long for if we just open our hearts to Him he will fill us with joy, pure and meaningful everlasting joy!!!