Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Time is Filled with Swift Transition

In my most recent post prior to this one, I wrote about eating lunch with a couple of customers and receiving a very distressing phone call about a good friend of mine who had suffered a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. As I published the post, he was still in the CCU at St. Francis Hospital, and we did not have a good idea of whether he would recover or not. Well, today…one week later…I was again having lunch with a couple of customers, and again I received a distressing call regarding my friend. He is still in the CCU, and the tests are showing that his brain activity is well below the level that is normal. Let us just say that hope is waning for his recovery short of God working a miracle. As I write this, I am expecting more information tomorrow.

During the lunchtime phone call, I was honored as his friend to be invited by his wife to join the family in a meeting this afternoon to discuss his condition, and as I drove back to Indianapolis from the Louisville area, the following song began to resonate in my mind:

Hold to God's Unchanging Hand
(written by Jennie Wilson)

Time is filled with swift transition,
naught of earth unmoved can stand,
build your hopes on things eternal,
hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Hold to God’s unchanging hand,
hold to God’s unchanging hand;
build your hopes on things eternal,
hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Trust in Him who will not leave you,
whatsoever years may bring,
if by earthly friends forsaken
still more closely to Him cling.


Covet not this world’s vain riches,
that so rapidly decay,
seek to gain the heavenly treasures,
they will never pass away.


When your journey is completed,
if to God you have been true,
fair and bright the home in glory
your enraptured soul will view.


At the time, I had no idea why this song suddenly came to mind. It just “out of the blue” started playing in my head and I began to sing the lyrics to myself…and to God. I found it comforting somehow as I contemplated my friend’s circumstance and the pain that his family was feeling.

However, during the family meeting, the “why” became quite clear to me. This meeting was not the typical gathering of distraught family members breaking down with the pain of the overwhelming loss of a loved one with no hope beyond the life they know. Rather, this was a gathering of friends and family bolstered by the hope of God. The pain of the loss was evident, but so was the knowledge that my friend was in fact a Christian, and as such, he has the sure expectation of passing from this life to the better one with his Lord. One after another, I heard the voices of loved ones placing their pain in the hands of God; placing their trust in His wisdom and will; knowing full well that their son, brother, father, husband, and friend had spent his life walking with his savior; holding on to His hand. There was no hint of doubt; no underlying fear. There was only the confidence that a real walk with God can bring.

If my friend’s journey is in fact completed, then I am confident that through the Grace of God, his soul will soon be viewing his bright home in glory. Selfishly, I’d rather keep him here for a bit longer…well, years longer…, but if God is calling him home, who am I to stand in the way of his reward. After all, this is what his life has always been about.

Time truly is filled with swift transition. It waits for no one. The older I get the more I realize two things: 1. Don’t take your friends for granted, and 2. Hold to God’s hand…because His hand truly is the only unchanging thing we CAN hold to.

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