Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rock of Ages

There is a sweet woman, whom I never did get the chance to meet, who is enjoying the pleasures of eternal bliss in heaven as I type. The children's minister at our church has been on a rather long journey as her grandmother has had a long "road home". Her death this week was expected, although, not easy in the least. She was a strong matriarch and woman of faith in her family and her life. I knew this without ever meeting her because Keena has told me of her grandmother's legacy. As she asked me to sing at the memorial service, a hymn was suggested and I was not particularly familiar with it. I looked it up and it has a very simple melody. The words are ones that run deep through my soul though and I wanted to share with you. This hymn was written during a heavy storm, in the late 1700's as a gentleman was taking shelter from the storm under a cleft of rocks in England. He wrote the first line on a playing card and the rest is history.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Safe from wrath and make me pure

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgement throne,Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee. 

The words run so deep throughout my heart as it is such a blunt and clear description of the gospel and our deep need for it. What beauty in, "let me hide myself in thee". 
There are such vivid pictures in my head of what I think heaven will be like, of what Noah is doing up there and I like to think that he met Lillian with a big running leap and said, your Keena knew my momma!!! They would sit and visit about us and how much they love us... my imagination runs and I smile at the thought. 
Death is such an interesting event. The finality of it all and yet the mystery of eternity. The legacy of a long and well lived life of faith is something to be celebrated and we will do that Saturday for her. I feel so sad that I  never met Lillian, but she has marked my heart in a special way and now I know why Keena is such a servant and Christ centered woman of God who deeply desires children to know Jesus. Praise God for the Lillians in this world who have fought the good fight of faith and have won!!! Thank God for the Noah's who have done the same, just in a much shorter amount of time. God is complete and fully present in each of these lives and only his way and his hands can make such sense out of a place of such questioning and wonder. Thank you Lord for your salvation that is our only hope in all of this world. May you cover Lillian's family and hold them close as they grieve her departure. May you continue her legacy through her family. Praise God for His unfailing shelter, salvation and security in all of life's storms. 

Noah's mommy

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