Monday, December 12, 2016
The late singer-songwriter, Charles “Rusty” Goodman is still a legend in the world of Southern Gospel, my favorite Christian music genre. He wrote such inspirational songs as “Had It Not Been”, “Because Of Calvary”,”I wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now”, and an all time favorite of mine, “Who Am I?” He also wrote a song which I can now identify with more than before, now that I have passed the three quarters of a century mark. It is titled “Leavin On My Mind.” It’s first verse says: “This old house I'm living in; it sure needs some repair; / The windows and the shutters are letting in the cold, cold air. / I say to myself, I'm gonna fix them, if I can find the time; / But all I've been getting lately, is leaving on my mind.”
I suppose this thought comes more often to God’s children than to others, those who have the hope of Glory, especially the elderly saints of God. Whenever I hear that old gospel song, it also reminds me of these words the Apostle Paul shared in his letter to the Philippians: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Ph. 1:21-24) Paul confessed his constant inner struggle between two desires, to stay here or to go to be with the Lord. He played his hand by saying that to be with Christ would be better by far, but he also realized that the more he stayed, the more he could be of some benefit to his fellow believers. Like me, many other servants of God have the same struggle, but as the Lord’s genuine servants they think about the needs and wishes of others before they think of their own.
That is one issue we all should consider carefully. Throughout the years I have seen those who get angry with God because He called a loved one home, not once thinking that to go home was their desire in the first place. Many times, the ones that are weeping bitterly are really crying because of their own pain. If their loved one has gone to be with the Lord, those tears should be tears of gladness because the desire of their loved one’s heart has been fulfilled. In the end, we are all in the same situation. We should all have the Apostle Paul’s mindset. Of course, to be with Christ is far better, but as God’s children, we should want to hang around here as long as we can so we can be of service to God and a blessing to those around us.
God’s word for today: (Psalm 116:15) “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.”