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BlogSwap 3: Open Assignment

07/30/04 | by [mail] | Categories: faith/skepticism

BlogswapI'm pleased to present the third installment of BlogSwap. This time we'll hear from Tim Challies, the creator of BlogSwap. If you're interested in participating, use the link below. Many thanks to Tim for all the work he does to make BlogSwap happen.

Dr. W.A. Criswell (1909-2002), long-time pastor of First Baptist Church
of Dallas, was once traveling by airplane on a trip across the country
to attend a speaking engagement and was thrilled to recognize the man in
the seat beside him as a well-known Christian theologian. Criswell
admired this man and wanted to strike up a conversation with him. After
the plane left the ground and settled into cruising altitude he
introduced himself and the two began to speak.

The theologian told the pastor how he had recently lost his four-year
old son to a terrible illness. The child was sent home from school one
day with a fever. At first the parents thought it was a typical
childhood illness, but as the child's condition continued to worsen they
took him to the hospital. After the doctors ran a battery of tests they
told the parents that their son had a virulent form of meningitis and
that there was nothing they could do for him. The child was going to

The loving father did the only thing he could do, which was sit with his
son in a death vigil. It was the middle of the day and the illness was
causing the little boy's vision began to fade. He looked up at his daddy
and said softly, "Daddy, it's getting dark, isn't it?"

The professor replied, "Yes, son, it is dark. It is very dark." And for
the father it was very dark.

The little boy said, "I guess it's time for me to get to sleep, isn't

"Yes son, it's time for you to sleep," said the father.

The theologian explained to Dr. Criswell how his son liked his pillow
and his blankets arranged just so and how he put his head on his hands
while he slept. He told how he helped the child fix his pillow and how
his little boy rested his head on his hands and said. "Good night daddy.
I'll see you in the morning." With that the little boy closed his eyes
and breathed his last.

The professor stopped talking and looked out the window of the airplane
for a good long time. Finally he turned to Dr Criswell and with his
voice breaking and tears spilling onto his cheeks said, "I can hardly
wait for morning to come!"

Though it may sound like merely the cry of a grief-stricken parent, the
father's words speak of far more. They speak of a profoundly beautiful
truth. His words echo those of King David who, after his son died said,
"I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (2 Samuel 13:23) The
father believed that life does not end with death - death is just the
beginning! His words are an awesome statement of faith. He had faith to
believe that Jesus' words were true when he said, "I am the way, the
truth and the life!" Only through Jesus can we have the hope of eternal
life that sustains the grief-stricken father. Only through Jesus can we
have assurance that he "will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there
shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying." (Revelation 21:4) God
offers us this assurance if only we will believe in Him.

Do you believe in Him? Give God the opportunity to be real to you and to
give you the faith to believe that there really is life beyond death.

Tim Challies writes essays, articles & reviews written from a Reformed,
Christian Perspective. He tries hard to put the fun back into
fundamentalism. Check out his site at Challies Dot Com.

My entry will be posted on The Irvins.

To view the rest of this week's entries, click here.

Would you like to BlogSwap? For more information visit Challies.com.


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