~ an author comments on his works
Greetings and welcome to my comments on one of my poems called "As This World Winds Down".
In my previous comments, I mentioned some things about the first stanza of that poem. My dictionary is one of my dearest tools, and it tells me that the word 'stanza' is Italian in origin. A word meaning "room". At the risk of sounding tedious I insert this link www.etymonline.com/index.php to an online etymology site that gives the origins of words...
I will get off my rabbit trail now and begin my comments on the second stanza:
"Awaiting their dear Shepherd's call..."
This line is where the upbeat in the poem begins...the proverbial silver lining. I must pause here and note that my choice of the word "awaiting" arose out of my understanding of God's definition of "hope".
Perhaps dear friend you are aware that most words here on EARTH have two definitions? By this I mean, a meaning which is rooted in Heaven, and one rooted in Earth. And sometimes these words can cause great consternation and confusion among those who are yet ignorant of this truth.
The Lord showed this to me in the course of my meditations on His Word. The word "hope" is a case in point. When people in the world use the word "hope" they use it to mean an expectation that may be denied them. That there is a possibility of disappointment. When God uses the word "hope" though, He uses it about things that are certain to come to pass, because the promise is backed by the strongest currency in the Universe- God's omnipotence and faithfulness.
When we humans say "I hope I have the money I need tomorrow", we often mean "It is a coin toss...if it lands heads up, I'll have the money...if it lands tails up, I won't have it." This is not hope- this is wishful thinking. Hope is that state of mind that looks to God and knowing God's unchanging character, says, I expect God will give me what I truly need when I truly need it, in the manner He knows best. This is how God defines the word hope.
This is no rabbit trail. We're still on the main road. "Awaiting their dear Shepherd's call..."
Because that word "awaiting" is significant and pregnant with wondrous meaning. It is related to the word watch. To 'await' means to anticipate, to hope for, to expect. In the New Testament, it is used 61 times within 53 verses. I'm referring to the word "hope" and in each of those uses, it translates a Greek word elpis which means "to anticipate with pleasure; expectation or confidence." That hope is not founded upon seeing visible tangible evidence that your expectation will be met, no, but rather upon one who has the power to absolately back up His promises, and only God can do that! (Romans 8:24, 25) This what I refer to as the genuine definition of the word "hope".
Those who go to sleep at night, (hah ha! or when ever) are able to do so because deep down inside they are confident that they will wake up again. What a terrifying thing it would be if every time we lay down, we did not have the hope and confidence of being able to wake up again! We expect to awake. Why?
Because of God's faithfulnes.
Many probably never stop to give God a thought in this matter of sleep, but think about it! Your conscious mind turns off. You close your eyes. Yet your heart goes on beating, you keep breathing...Our Creator designed us to function like that to keep us humble. So that He would get the recognition for the amazing way we stay alive when we shut down for the night. It takes zero conscious effort on our part, and so we are daily given proof of our dependence on Him.
In 1 Peter 1:21 God specifically says to us that He is our Hope.
Those who sleep, physically in their beds, where ever, can sleep soundly when they place their trust in Christ, because He promises them absolute security in Him, no matter what happens. But there is that matter of those who have died and their bodies are yet decaying in the ground, in many cases, but also in the world's oceans, and in the atmosphere above, and now even in outer space. They 'sleep' in hope of God's promise to resurrect their bodies at some point in time which He has scheduled.
Why is it so difficult for some to believe in a resurrection? The same God who created everything we see out of nothing, is not disabled by our decay. It's no challenge to Him really.
I've been studying the human brain for years now, and it is staggering in its complexity! Just phenomenol in the way it has been designed. Humans can't begin to duplicate it. God is a master-Engineer in a class all by Himself. Why do people think it would be "hard" or "impossible" for God to re-unite the atoms and molecules of a person's body, while re-joining their conscious personhood to it, then remove the curse so that that reconstructed man or woman is alive again in the physical sense?
We once let people die, because we were limited in our understanding of how our bodies work. My grandmother died of a heart attack, that today people routinely go to doctor's for and go on to live their lives. Why do people think it unbelieveable that God, who has unlimited understanding, and unlimited ability, could save the dead, even after they have been dead for centuries? Today we solve cold-cases by using genetic evidence...wrongly convicted men and women are freed, sometimes decades later...and that's from a little advance in our scientific knowledge!
"Awaiting their dear Shepherd's call
till commanding them arise
and leave this world behind, then for
that City in the skies."
The resurrection of every human is going to happen, whether people believe it or not. In the last book of the Holy Bible (Genesis to Revelation) - at the end of chapter 20 of the book called Revelation, God reveals that those who did not believe that He would raise the dead bodily to life again, will in fact be raised to appear before Him. This is no religious myth or fiction...this is a reality grounded unshakably in who God is- someone who never lies.
The Gospel records- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are in fact, court documents and eye-witness testimony preserved for the benefit of humanity for all time, so that we would have proof of who God is and what He has said and done. Hundreds of people watched as Jesus was crucified in the most humiliating and painful death imaginable...A Roman soldier thrust a spear up into his side, cutting into the man's heart so that blood and water came out...proof positive (medically) that Jesus was dead. His cold, scarred body lay 3 days inside a burial chamber, and his enemies were satisfied that He was gone forever. But God raised up eye-witnesses, to testify of the reality that God had raised Him physically back to life again. Then over 500 men and women together witnessed Jesus Christ walking and talking to them, as He had been before He was murdered! This is historical, documented, witnessed reality. No flimsy wishy faith.
This is why people go to church all over the planet, and why the name of Jesus Christ is still the most revered name in all of human history! And why even in the midst of the most scientifically enlightened age, millions and millions of people still trust in God. Science will always trail behind God's revelation preserved in the Bible. Because all science can do is report what it sees, in the physical realm. There is a whole dimension of existence that will always be out of its range!
Well, that's all for now dear friends. The more God shows me, the more ignorant I realize that I am. But that's alright. Let God be who He is...
I remain, a fellow human & poet,
Zach B McClure