When our son died at the age of 22, we were devastated. Young people aren't supposed to die before their parents. It goes completely against the natural order of things. He had so much going for him. He had just graduated from college with a degree in Biology. He was an original thinker and would probably have been responsible for some important breakthrough in some area. He was in excellent physical condition. I could go on and on.
But after all of the searches were over and we had resigned ourselves to the fact that we probably wouldn't see our son again on this earth, I began to ponder all that had happened and all that we had been through. A family member had shared with me a devotional she had read while we were still in Hawaii. It was based on Isaiah 57:1 & 2.
"The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the godly who die will rest in peace." (New Living Translation)Those verses literally changed my life. Instead of focusing on my loss, God had directed my thoughts to eternity and had given me His perspective. It made all the difference. You can read more of the details of how God brought healing and closure to both me and my husband in our book, Aloha is Forever.
Weeks later as I was walking to the grocery store in Brazil (only a block from our house,) it suddenly dawned on me that no matter how long or how short our life is here on earth, it is like the blink of an eye compared to eternity. One day, twenty years, fifty years, eighty years - it really is like a dot compared to a line going on forever that represents eternity. Those of us who are left behind to mourn our loss and experience the pain of a lifetime of separation, feel it acutely. Those who have gone ahead, if they have been redeemed and bought with the blood of the lamb who is Jesus, rest in peace as Isaiah says. That is the basis for our righteousness and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was John's. It does not depend upon anything we have done, it cannot be earned by doing good things, it simply is a gift bestowed upon us by a loving Father who gave His son to become sin so that we could be counted as righteous by faith.
Is Jesus your righteousness? I hope so.