Sunday, September 28, 2008

It Is Not Death to Die

In August we bought a CD from Sovereign Grace Music, Come Weary Saints. I posted a brief recommendation back in the beginning of September. This album, along with Valley of Vision and other Sovereign Grace albums have been a lifeline for our family since we received the news of Emily's death. Our little girls, 7 and 9, have gone to sleep listening to these songs the last two nights.

My wife Juanita commented that one song, It Is Not Death to Die, gripped her from day one. I remember her saying that when we first listened to this album. Now we know why.

We have mentioned the significance of this song to a few friends and family, but just a few minutes ago, we received another confirmation that this song is "for such a time as this." Bob Kauflin, Director of Worship Development for Sovereign Grace Ministries, posted a comment on my post announcing Emily's death and he quoted from this song (Bob wrote the music, chorus and alternate lyrics for this song). Thank you, Bob!

John Piper (and others) stress the need for Christians to build a foundation in good theology in preparation for suffering, for suffering will indeed come. Juanita and I have lived an easy life in so many ways - blessed with healthy children, a great church and a sweet marriage. God was good then, and God is good now.

Death is the last enemy. We are still living in a fallen world. We do not grieve as those who have no hope, but we still grieve. The funeral for Emily will not be a celebration of her life, though she will be appropriately honoured. We desire this service to be Gospel-saturated and glorifying to Christ our Redeemer. I can honestly say that's the way Emily would have wanted it.

It Is Not Death to Die
It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high
Who’ve found their home with God

It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne
Delivered from our fears

O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

It is not death to fling
Aside this earthly dust
And rise with strong and noble wing
To live among the just

It is not death to hear
The key unlock the door
That sets us free from mortal years
To praise You evermore
O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

Original Words by Henri Malan (1787-1864). Translated by George Bethune (1847).
Music, Chorus and Alternate Words by Bob Kauflin.
© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
From Come Weary Saints. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
North American administration by Integrity Music. International administration by CopyCare International.

19 comments:

patti said...

I didn't want to say something earlier, but when I heard, I wondered if even your recent study in Job had been preparation for what was to come.

It is wonderful to see how God works things out and even better to get to the point of knowing that even if we don't see how it all works out, that it's still wonderful.

Jim and Nanja said...

We will pray that you experience the Healing in His Wings that Mark wrote about on the "Come Weary Saints" CD.

Anonymous said...

Terry
This really touched our hearts here. I would love to hear Emily's funeral and hope that perhaps your tech people will find a way to make it available to those who can't be there in person. After hearing the clip of this song, I can see why it has become a source of comfort to all of you. Praying that tonight you will all be able to have a good night's rest.
Donna

Take 2 said...

Terry,

You don't know me or my family but your familie's loss grips my heart and we are standing with you, your wife, girls and your church family and praying for you!!!

My hubby and I attend Linden Alliance. We are sharing your story with our church family to uphold you in prayer. May you feel the love of Jesus surround you as you grieve your sweet daughter. We cry with you but know she is in a better place.

Blessings,
Dana and Dan Duggan

Alex Kirk said...

Our family was shocked to hear the news. We continue in prayer, confessing with you the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

The Spotts family

Ken said...

I heard of the loss of your daughter from Bob's blog. I am very sad for you and pray that God will continue to comfort you. Thank you for your openness and the example you are setting in clinging to the Cross.

imsilentnomore said...

Words can not really even say what sorrow fills my heart. I am praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Terry and Family
We are shocked to hear of your daughter, and wish you all a fast healing from this event. We know God has taken her as an angel. God is with you all.
From my family to yours

Jim Peet said...

Dear Brother,

My wife and I will be remembering you in prayer (and your wife and children, and church).

I hurt for you.

Sincerely, Jim Peet

Barbara said...

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you and will continue to be. May God strengthen and comfort you, your family, and your Church family in this time.

Ron Reffett said...

Hello Terry,
I was very sorry to hear about your loss, please accept my condolences.
I lost my wife back in 2004 and my mother passed away a year ago, I have been comnforted greatly by the music from sovereign grace, in fact I received The Valley of Vision the day my mother was admited to the nursing home that she stayed at before she passed on.
Know that you and your family will be in my prayers and you have my deepest sympathies.
May you experience His comfort.
Ron Reffett

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,

I am so deeply moved by your incredible faith which is carrying you through this time. I am blessed to be able to learn from your journey. I am still alternating between shock and grief and fear. Your words and actions are helping me as a community member to find my way and are a powerful reminder to me that I can choose to put my trust in God.

Thank you for living your faith so openly and honestly. You are inspiring others and truly living your life for God's glory. As a friend of Petra and Anne's, my daugher has been struggling to understand how God could have let their sister die. Sharing the song with her has been a powerful way of showing her that there is so much more to life than the surface that we see. I am glad that she is having this powerful lesson; you have changed her life by sharing this song.

I have also done more healing around deaths in my own life, including a sibling of mine. I do see God working in this tragic time. Thank you for leading us in turning towards God, and not away from Him, in our grief.

God bless you Terry and may He continue to guide you and your family.

Jacqueline Green Pelkey

adam herod said...

Terry...I found your site through Bob's. We will be praying for you and your family.

asacrificeofpraise said...

Hi Terry. I don't know you... found your site also through Bob's. You and your family are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Terry...just wanted you to know we're praying for you and your family. May God continue to give you the grace you need for this time...
Love in Christ,
Jason Koutstaal

steffany said...

I just want you to know that your family is in our prayers. the loss of a child is so unreal. we too walk with you as having lost a son three days after his 21st birthday. Like you god was with us thru it all his love and amazing strength still comforts us three yrs later. remember this is your loss talk to each other there is no right or wrong way to feel. each of you will have "if only I " please don't go there it only add pain. celebrate her life because she was so full of gods gifts to you.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Terry:

My heart grieves as you grieve my brother......I cannot for a moment begin to comprehend what you are enduring my "brother of the pulpt", but I know the ONe who does and that HIs grace is far bigger than your pain and He can indeed glory Himself through your trust in Him - which is clesrly your goal in all this!

Thank you for your for example of clinging to grace and truth as you life implodes on you and yours.

Peter Charlebois:

Pastor 1st Baptist Church - Thunder Bay Ontario
psalm19@tbaytel.net
http://firstbaptistchurch.ca/

Anonymous said...

Pastor Terry:

My heart grieves as you grieve my brother......I cannot for a moment begin to comprehend what you are enduring my "brother of the pulpt", but I know the ONe who does and that HIs grace is far bigger than your pain and He can indeed glory Himself through your trust in Him - which is clesrly your goal in all this!

Thank you for your for example of clinging to grace and truth as you life implodes on you and yours.

Peter Charlebois:

Pastor 1st Baptist Church - Thunder Bay Ontario
psalm19@tbaytel.net
http://firstbaptistchurch.ca/

PeterJohnParker said...

Our dear cousins in Christ,
Prayers have been offered in Sunday services, our midweek and at least one Bible study, here at St Luke's Anglican Church in Victoria, for your family.
We met you all at Christopher and Annie's wedding, and remember precious Emily who was a flower girl. Terry, you introduced me to that wonderful object lesson with a piece of three-stranded rope - you can't splice two strands, and now is the kind of time when many marriages in Edson, please God, will see and learn from your example - this third strand we know and love is so awesome and indispensable.
I worked with three stranded lines on board ship. I have seen a rope chafed to the point that two strands were almost worn through, but often that third strand would still hold until repairs could be made. How much more Jesus our third strand will hold us until we heal.
God be with you.
- Peter & Marion Parker, Chris's Godparents