It’s been one of those hard weeks. I’ve watched a dear friend slip slowly from this side of heaven into the other side. She’s not completely gone yet, at least she is still breathing, but she hasn’t eaten for weeks nor opened her eyes for days.
Despite knowing she lived 89 good years, it’s never easy saying goodbye. So, I don’t. I say, “I will see you again.”
But the truth is, death is ugly however it comes. There is no beauty in death except for our hope. And even with this great hope we hold, death reminds us how very limited we are and how finite our time here really is.
I love the words in the psalm above:
[tweetability]I will see the Lord in the land of the living.[/tweetability]
I love David’s confidence. Can you picture the land of the living…the land of no death?
David’s words conclude with a command:
Wait for the Lord.
(Sigh) I don’t like to wait.
But I will.
I’m not very strong, but I don’t have to be; this ancient word holds a secret under the layers of translation.
Hazaq: to be strong, courageous; to make firm, strengthen, support, encourage; to preserve; to conquer, seize, retain, to harden. Used in exhortations to be courageous. Twelve times in the book of Exodus hazaq is used to describe the hardening of pharaoh’s heart….the term was also frequently used in reference to construction or repair work.
It encourages me to know that the word does not only mean to “be strong” but it can also mean “to be strengthened, made firm, to harden.” Would it encourage you more if David wrote, “Wait for the Lord. Be strengthened.”?
Is it possible?
Yes. Because waiting on the Lord requires patient hope which only comes fully when we trust the one we are waiting on.
[tweetability]We don’t have to muster the strength. He will breathe it into us.[/tweetability]
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen (hazaq) those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” ~2 Chronicles 16:9
I hate to wait, but if it means the promise of the land of the living and a stronger heart encouraged by the One who gives me such hope…
What do you do while you are waiting on God?
Dedication: This post was written in memory of my dear neighbor, Helen Miller, who crossed to the other side June 3, 2014. I will miss her wonderful childhood stories, her vocabulary quizzes, making her peanut butter sandwiches with both butter and peanut butter, and her encouragement to write. I will miss you, Helen. But I will see you again.
I’ve linked up today with Juana Mikels. Be encouraged by the other great posts on her link-up.
Thanks, Andy. The words to the following Taize chant are: Wait for the Lord, whose day is near, Wait for the Lord, be strong take heart. Nice video at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTWh3RfdRlM
Thank you, Joanna. It was beautiful.
So sorry about the loss of Helen! I think you were a great friend to her and must have been such a comfort in her time of need. Praying for you!
Thank you Erika!
It also ministered to me…… I also lost my father on March 23, 2014 at the age of 89…… He gave his life to Christ before his death
Maria, I’m so sorry for your loss. But I’m so thankful for your hope and that this post ministered to you. Thank you for leaving a comment.
Just the words needed at this time! I don’t know about tomorrow, but I KNOW who holds my hand came to mind as I read your wonderful words of praise.
I love that hymn! Thanks Janice. I love how God speaks to us through music. Blessings my friend.
Andy, I can’t begin to tell you how much this ministers to me today. Death is almost a daily occurrence for me because of my job. It isn’t something one gets used to, no matter how many times it’s witnessed and some days I long to be somewhere else, doing something far from it and all it entails…I’m sorry for your loss Andy, grateful for your words & hopeful for the reunion that will someday take place in the land of the living.
Dear Suzy, I’m so thankful this ministered to you. My writing is often therapy for me. :) Thank you for your comment. I will be praying for you.