“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13–14 (ESV)
He’s fallen asleep. That’s all. No need to grieve like one with no hope. Grieve, but grieve in hope.
Jesus died. Moreover, Jesus is risen! This is the ground of our hope, Paul reasons.
Grandpa has fallen asleep. Oh, but what a precious reality of assurance it is to me that while he was awake, Grandpa treasured Jesus. And his treasuring Christ during his 83 years is his claim to the promise of resurrection with Jesus in the age to come.
I embrace so many fond memories of time with him when he was awake. His love for Jesus was evident. He modeled a life that showed Christ’s importance… his value. Service to Jesus’ church was ingrained in Grandpa. He wanted others to know and love Him. I never knew a time when he didn’t love God (though I recognize that his relationship with Christ did have a beginning… It just began before I, myself, woke up). I loved this about Grandpa.
Grandpa rejoiced in creation, and gave glory to its Creator. God was good to him, blessing him with a love for the outdoors and with many years post-work, where Grandpa could enjoy what He had made. Fishing. Hunting. Golfing. Shooting. Boating. Gardening. Mowing (you shoulda seen his yard!). My back yard exists as more than dirt because of Grandpa’s expertise with nature. I loved this about him.
Grandpa was an entrepreneur. An inventor and a creator after the image of The Creator. He understood things. He just… did. From business to mechanics to electronics… He just knew things. I loved this about him.
Not only did I love his creativity, I imitated it, myself… or at least I’m trying to. My interest in computing was directly related to the days at his house, sitting behind him, watching him use the computer. From the early days of DOS to modern iPhones and iPads, Grandpa loved computers and enjoyed sharing that experience with me. I’m grateful. I love software development, and I attribute that to him. But like Grandpa, my love for computing is not an end in itself. Rather, it is (and was, for him) a reflection of God’s own creative expression.
I could go on, and on, but more words would simply echo what’s already been said, just from different perspectives and experiences. I think I’ll pause here, while I have a few moments of quiet to wrap up (life with a two year old and a newborn is hectic, to say the least).
Goodnight, Grandpa. I’ll see you in the Morning.