Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Before Margaret died it was my job to make breakfast and drop the kids off at school in the morning, but now I must get used to immediately returning home and spending time in the house with just Calum. It's a new experience and very strange. As soon as he falls asleep I'm left with my thoughts and memories.
I sink when I think about how much I miss Margaret, but faith lifts me out of it. Loneliness comes but faith always pushes it to one side. This faith manifests itself in a solid belief in Margaret's being now in glory with the Lord and indescribably happy. It is also usually followed by an equally solid belief that my and every one else's appointed time approaches and draws nearer every moment. We are all in the queue.
When I looked down on Margaret's dead body shortly after she died, the thought which came into my mind with great force was: "This is not Margaret." It was an empty shell - dust. Margaret is no longer here, she is absent (absent from the body, present with the Lord - 2 Corinthians 5: 8). Yes that dust is united to Christ and on the morning of the resurrection will be reunited with her soul and will rise again, but until that day, she is utterly gone.
This faith is not something which I generate. It is something which simply exists within me. The Bible tells me that it is God's Holy Spirit indwelling in me and so enabling me to believe - to exercise faith.
The truth of this is born out by personal experience (It canna be telt, it must be felt).
I don't know how I would cope with my current situation if I didn't have faith.
There are two kinds of faith: true faith and false faith. False faith is what we generate ourselves, by our own efforts - 'drummed up faith', but true faith is generated by the power of God - alone.
So it is very comforting to experience faith's workings independent of my own ability.
The faith to which I refer is a true and powerful belief in the finished work of the only begotten Son of God - the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
An atheist might say, "But I don't believe that."
I would respond by saying: "That's up to you, and it might sound good to some, but what good will it do when you're staring into the jaws of death?"