Jaysun's Journal

Independent Baptist

If We Never Meet Again This Side of Heaven


If We Never Meet Again This Side of Heaven

Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.” (1Samuel 20:18)

Something I never could get into is this Modern Art stuff; especially Abstract Art. That’s those paintings that look like they were done by a two-year-old with epilepsy. I could stare at them all day and never figure out what they’re supposed to be. But then one day somebody told me I was missing the point. The question I should have been asking myself was not “What is it?” but “How does it make me feel?”

And that’s sort of the way I want to look at this verse. I want to preach from the picture Vs. 18 brings to mind and from the emotion that seems to well up inside me every time I read the last part of it. “…Thou shalt be missed because thy seat will be empty.”

Jonathan was saying “There’ll be a lot of people sitting at the King’s table, but David, your chair is going to be empty and we’re going to miss you.” I can’t think of a lonelier, more haunting sight, than an empty chair where a loved one used to be.

You better take a good look around you because you know as well as I do that it won’t always be like it is right now. Some of the faces you see today will be just a distant memory this time next year.

When I was in high school, I remember looking through my yearbooks again and again. I just couldn’t seem to get enough of it. But now, it’s kind of painful to flip through page after page and see the faces of people who I know I’ll never see again. What’s sad is – NOT ONE OF THEM had time to say their last goodbyes.

I remember standing in the intensive care unit several years ago. A friend of mine was in the hospital named Michael Williams.

[I don’t know if it’s the same way with girls but boys fight with their friends. And one time, me and Michael got into a knockdown-drag-out at my house. I whipped him the first time and daddy broke us up. A little bit later – he whipped me and daddy had to break us up again. And we were going for Round 3 when daddy said he was gonna whip both of us if we got in a fight again! So we were good friends.]

But when I went to see him in the hospital we didn’t have much of a conversation. You see, Michael Dean was in a coma.

The night before, he had gone to sleep at a friend’s house and in the morning, they noticed he had turned blue and when they couldn’t wake him, they called an ambulance.

In a few days Hospice would come and they would take Michael home to die. But there in the ICU the family was still holding out hope that Michael would pull through. His daddy told me “Jason, the doctors say that even though he is in a coma there’s a chance he can still hear us.” And it broke my heart as I listened to Michael’s daddy talk to him like he was sitting there wide awake.

He’d say things like “Jason’s here to see you. Ain’t that nice of him to come by?”
Michael never did respond but that didn’t stop him from talking to him.

He’d say things like, “Son I love you and I know I’ve been working a lot lately – but when you get out of here I’m taking some time off and we’re going on vacation-anywhere you want to go!”

Maybe he heard him. Maybe he didn’t. But I certainly got the message loud and clear. If you love somebody, you’d better tell them and spend time with them while you can. Because there’s coming a day when you may never see them again this side of heaven. And like it or not it could be today.

Several years ago, when Buddy Ray Hadden died, my pastor’s wife sang at his funeral. At that time she was a very sick woman and had to carry her oxygen tank with her to the platform. Even today, if you listen to the tape of that service, you can hear her struggling to get her breath as she sang: “I Want Us To Be Together In Heaven.” And that’s my sentiment exactly.

Another old song puts it this way

Soon we’ll come to the end of life’s journey

And perhaps never meet anymore

Till we gather in heaven’s bright city

Far away on that beautiful shore

If we never meet again this side of heaven

As we struggle through this world and its strife

There’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven

By the side of the river of life

Where the charming roses bloom forever

And where separations come no more

If we never meet again this side of heaven

I will meet you on that beautiful shore

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July 5, 2009 - Posted by | Death, Guidance | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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