Wednesday was my dad’s birthday. October 30, 1934 – June 14, 2013
His arrival date – dash – his departure date.
It is said we live our lives in the dash. Dad lived almost 80 years worth of life in the dash. There was joy and happiness, pain and sorrow, frustration and fear, love and laughter. Lots of laughter. There was misunderstanding and error, sin and forgiveness.
The Bible says a man’s life is like a breath of air – that puff that lingers on a cold morning – and then it’s gone. I think God tells us this, not so much that we will make all we can of this short time, but so that we will understand and grasp the reality of eternity.
This life is short; but only in light of eternity. We will all live for eternity. The choice we have is: where? Heaven or hell.
There is only one way to heaven: You must accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who is, was, and always will be God. Jesus left heaven, as God, and came to earth in obedience, to die on a cross (as God, he is immortal- he was/is eternal, always existing) for the forgiveness of sin. When he died, he carried your sin on his shoulders.
It’s sort of like a ‘balance sheet’. On one side is your sin. On the other is Christ’s righteousness. The books must balance. You cannot pay off your sin. Jesus paid it all. All. Every bit. He died in your place. He paid your penalty. And, therefore, God transfers Christ’s perfect righteousness to your column, and your sin to Christ’s column,
When you accept Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf you receive his righteousness. You stand before God, justified. God is judge and he, in that moment, judges you fit for his perfect heaven. Then, nothing can separate you from his love. Nothing. Not even your own self, and your sinful actions. Your sin has been removed. And your sinful actions have been forgiven.
When Jesus is your Savior, He must also be your Lord. You commit, in gratitude, to get out of the driver’s seat of your life and let him take over.
One of the last things dad said to me the Saturday before he left was, “If I survive this, my house will be a beacon of light for Jesus!” He meant it! Dad was, and is, saved. He bore spiritual fruit. He reconciled with God and with people.
There were a lot of things ‘in the dash’ that may be hard to understand, or even reconcile — but God knew dad’s true heart. And, in dad’s true heart, he loved Jesus. He had the Holy Spirit living in him. Dad told me once that he pushed the Spirit down for a lot of years — and one can only do that if one knows what he is doing. But, in the end, dad let the Holy Spirit have free reign.
Dad is living beyond the dash. Dad is alive. Dad is singing praises. He is free. He is able to be the child he never could be in this life… he is God’s adopted son. He is co-heirs with Jesus. He is alive.