On the shore, waiting to cross over to the other side

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand” (2 Timothy 4:6).

These days, to ride the Fort Morgan ferry across Mobile Bay to Dauphin Island, the cost for one car and two passengers is $27. That’s up considerably since the last time my wife and I rode it with our grandson.  Grant was about six, as I recall.

We had arrived at the ferry landing and took our place in line with other cars. I bought the ticket and we were milling around waiting for the ferry to arrive from the north shore.  Grant was apprehensive.

“Grandpa, are we going to cross that river?” I assured him we were.

“But there’s no bridge. Are we going to drive out in the water?”

I explained about the ferry boat.

“Grandpa, I’m afraid.”

I said, “Grant, you are with grandpa and grandma.  Do you know how much we love you? We are going to take care of you.  You have nothing to worry about.”

A half hour later, in the middle of Mobile Bay and standing on the deck of the ferry, my beloved grandson looked up, beaming. “Grandpa, this is fun.”

I smile at the memory.  It was indeed fun.

The story makes a point…

Anyone is apprehensive about taking a trip he’s never experienced, to a place where he’s never been, with no visible means of transport.

But our Heavenly Father loves us. And He has promised that when the scheduled time for our departure arrives, His limo service will be waiting.

It will be fun.

At the funeral of  our great friend Charlene Jordan McCall, Pastor Shawn Parker was talking about the transportation God provided to get the prophet Elijah up to heaven.

A chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire…and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11).

Shawn said, “That was God’s limousine service, sent to bring His faithful servant home.”

Pause and enjoy that image.

It brings to mind what Corrie ten Boom said to her sister Betsy.  In Hitler’s concentration camp, with death and misery all around them. Betsy was worrying about dying. She wasn’t sure she had courage sufficient for this.  Corrie said, “Sister, do you recall when we were small and would make the trip with father into the city on the train?  You and I would play around the station.  When did father give us our tickets?”

Betsy answered, “Not until the train arrived, lest we lose them.”

Corrie said, “The Heavenly Father has not given us the courage to face death yet because the time is not yet. But when the time comes, He will give us everything we need.”

As He did. And as He does.

You should smile at this, Christian.  It’s smile-worthy.

This is how Paul says it:  I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness… (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Paul was at that moment.  The time had come.  And the Lord was near.  Paul was given the confidence.

He will do that for you and me, too.

As of this morning at the laptop, I am 84 years old.  Oh, 84 and 3 months. And five days.  I feel great.  Youthful even.  But I am closer to my departure than I’ve ever been.  And do you mind if I tell you something?

So are you.

We all are.

And that’s all right.  It’s nature. This is how God has arranged life.  To exit this world is a vital part of God’s plan for us.  None of us was intended to stay here forever.  We were made–as has been said repeatedly–for better things than this world.

I’m remembering an old gentleman who told his preacher how he was ready for the Lord to take him, My sail is unfurled and I’m just waiting for the wind. 

Works for me.

(Note: Keep in mind that “wind” is one of the definitions of the Hebrew Ruach as well as the Greek Pneuma, also translated as Spirit and breath.)


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