As I write this I am sitting on the porch of our beach condo. It's 6:32 a.m. and the sun rose over the Atlantic a few minutes ago. I am listening to the symphony of waves unrolling upon the shore with the unceasing chatter of insects as background music, and watching a lone fisherman throwing out his line. Long clouds surround the sun and magnify its golden glory.
Gazing at the beauty before me, I consider that my friend Chris entered into the joy of the Lord early yesterday morning. Right now, as I sit here on earth, Chris is in a place Jesus called Paradise. Whatever beauty I think I see, Chris is seeing so much more: the sunlit face of his Savior, the blazing radiance of angels, the spirits of righteous people made perfect (Hebrews 12:23), the very glory of God.
"Glory of God." It's a phrase we throw around all the time, we church people. I'm thinking that Chris now knows what those words mean. He's actually looking at it, feeling it, exulting in it! We really have no inkling what the glory of God is all about. But soon, very soon, we will experience it endlessly. Like these waves I see crashing upon the shore at Crescent Beach, God's glory will unroll before our vision with unceasing energy and joy. And we will say with Paul, "Death has been swallowed up in victory!" (1 Corinthians 15:54)