Isaiah 52:1-12 & Gone?

I picked my three favorite photos. One has his tiny little fingers wrapped around her thumb; it looks as if he is really clinching it. His precious little face takes up the majority of the second picture. The third is the two most precious faces I know by earthly sight pressed together in sorrow and love. I had them printed 11×14 in sepia tone. Then I placed them in three simple little white frames which I hung at the top of the stairway around noon. I knew she would be home around 3pm. I hear the garage door. We talk about the day in the dining room, she ascends the stairs. “Why are the stairway lights on?” she thinks to herself…oblivious. I wait. As she descends she notices, by her reaction I know I have done well. I love making her happy. Some things can leave us, and we never notice them. A huge wrought iron piece that previously occupied that space in the hallway was not missed. If the picture were removed I think Bethany would instantly notice. If you treasure something, really treasure something, you will quickly realize its absence. Bethany so treasures Elijah; his absence hurts.

The return of the Lord to Zion (v. 8) was occasioned by singing. God’s presence among them was their deepest joy. Could God be absent and our souls comfortable? Are they? Or do we like the Psalmist “seek His presence continually” (Psalm 105:4), pant after him as the deer pants for water (Psalm 42:1), and desire above all to “dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4)?

Easter Comfort

John Piper’s son Abraham lost their baby girl Felicity in September 07. 

Here is the story.

Here is a poem.

Here is Grandpa John’s funeral comments.

And here is Abraham’s Easter poem of hope.

Bethany and I have found comfort here.  More than anywhere else I have found comfort in the crucified and risen Christ, and here are the two linked together beautifully.

A Letter to Elijah

ElijahDisclaimer: I do not believe there is a heavenly post from here to heaven. I don’t expect God to act as my mail boy. I don’t anticipate with hope the opportunity to say these things. My hope is much bigger; so much so that this little letter will one day seem trite. This letter was simply my way of grieving and expressing my faith. [Added 11.2.17]

Elijah,

Your name means “Yahweh is God”. Our firstborn son, this was our prayer for your life. We named you after the mighty prophet who proclaimed “O Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.” (1 Kings 18:36) Elijah, we asked God that your life would proclaim the supremacy of Jesus above all the gods of this age; this age that is filled with just as many false contenders for the glory that belongs to Christ alone. Our Everlasting Father works His wisdom in the most mysterious of ways. Elijah, you are a mighty prophet. Your precious life has more powerfully declared the sovereignty and majesty of God than we could have ever imagined. He has magnified His great name in you son, we are so proud of you. You have taught your parents so much about our great Father. Elijah you have preached:

  1. That the fountain of grace flowing from Emmanuel’s veins is the most satisfying flow. The deepest pain finds relief and comfort at the wounded hands of the gentle Shepherd.
  2. That we are pilgrims in this life. For there to be joy mingled with such sorrow is evidence that the presence of God is where all our hearts desires find their fullest satisfaction.
  3. You have made us aware of the depths of the Father’s love as His Son testified that the Father “so loved us that He gave His one and only Son.”
  4. Elijah, most precious to us, you have testified that the sovereignty of God over all things is good. Your almighty Father has made His sovereignty taste sweet to us.

Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away; blessed be the name of Yahweh.
—Job 1:21 (ESV)

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in Yahweh; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Yahweh, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
—Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ESV)

When the righteous cry for help, Yahweh hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. Yahweh is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but Yahweh delivers him out of them all.
—Psalm 34:17-19 (ESV)

Oh, taste and see that Yahweh is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
—Psalm 34:8 (ESV)

Thank you, dear son, for being the instrument of Yahweh to deliver such a powerful sermon. Your legacy for all eternity will be “Yahweh is God”.