Echoes From the Campfire

Any man who can sit completely alone for long periods of time under the dome of heaven, and not contemplate the meaning of life, isn’t really alive.”
              –William Wayne Dicksion  (Sagebrush)

    “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
              –1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)
Rough week?  I know it’s Friday, one more day to go, but I really don’t think the Lord much looks at what day of the week it is unless we miss the Lord’s Day.  I know that this old world can be a terror, and the people in it can raise havoc, cause stupidity, and bring about mayhem.
    Along with that we have this earthly body that is subject to pain and decay.  There are aches of all sorts, there are sores both physical and emotional to deal with.  There is even that word that seems to be always among us–pandemic, the virus of all viruses.  Coughs, sneezes, shortness of breath; aches in the knees, bursitis in the shoulder, arthritis in the fingers, rheumatism in the hips; kidney pain, diabetes, heart problems and with all of that throw in varicose veins and hemorrhoids.  
    Yes, we’re a mess and that’s not even discussing the political scene of our nation or the world.  It is not speaking of the dangers that loom in the Middle East, or North Korea, or China.  Therefore, on this Friday, I would send us into the weekend with some words of assurance and certainty.  Some of which I share this morning is borrowed from Kenneth W. Osbeck’s book, Beyond the Sunset.

         “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.”
                   –2 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NKJV)

    I have always enjoyed the songs of Fanny Crosby.  From 1870 until her death in 1915, she wrote between eight and nine thousand hymns, more than any other writer.  The hymn I am presenting this morning has been one of my favorites, but in my later years I appreciate it more and more.  She said it came from the final message of a pastor friend who had died, “If each of us is faithful to the grace which is given us by Christ, that same grace which teaches us how to live will also teach us how to die.”  What a hymn, Saved By Grace!  What a message!  What a hope!

         Someday the silver cord will break,
         And I no more as now shall sing.
         But, O they joy when I shall wake
         Within the palace of the King!

         Someday my earthly house will fall;
         I cannot tell how soon ’twill be.
         But this I know–my All in All
         Has now a place in heav’n for me.

         Someday, when fades the golden sun
         Beneath the rosy-tinted west,
         My blessed Lord will say, “Well done!”
         And I shall enter into rest.

         Someday–till then I’ll watch and wait,
         My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
         That when my Savior opes the gate,
         My soul to Him may take its flight.

                   And I shall see Him face to face,
                   And tell the story–saved by grace.
                   And I shall see Him face to face,
                   And tell the story–saved by grace.

    I believe that we will never fully comprehend “grace.”  It is a simple word, yet so profound in its spiritual meaning.  The above song was said to be a favorite of D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey.  When Ira Sankey went into a coma he was said to be singing the lines of the first verse–the last words he would utter this side of heaven.  Imagine what he was singing when he entered the portals of glory.