Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ do not pass through the valley of death when we depart this present world for our heavenly home. We rather pass through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4).
“Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die” (John 11:26).
If we could see for even the briefest moment that which our loved ones witnessed in that twinkling moment when first they gazed upon their Savior, we would shed tears of unbridled joy. We would be so thrilled for them that our sadness at their departure would be mitigated, if not altogether dismissed. Indeed, we can be sure that the valley’s shadow fails to obscure to any degree whatsoever the bright light of the One who promised He would be with us for the journey Homeward. “Thou art with Me” (Psalm 23:4).
Alas, we cannot see what they saw. So, we weep. We grieve. We seek the comfort of God, family, and friends. And we remember promises made by the God who “cannot lie” (1:2).
“If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:14-17).
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
“To depart and to be with Christ… is far better” (Philippians 1:23).
Whence we go, we shall not go alone. Such truth in Christ blesses every moment from our new birth onward. However, we shall especially know the presence of our Good and Great Shepherd for that homeward journey through the valley not of death, but merely of its shadow.
Homeward, My child, it is time to go.
I am with you, just as promised, you’ll venture not alone.
I have been this way we journey,
its paths My footsteps trace.
Those sparkles all along the way
are glimmers of My grace.
Angels travel with us, they marvel at the scene
of yet another spirit, from sad earth redeemed.
And Someone waits to greet you,
a Father all sublime.
Oh, I have no words to tell you
of the wonder you’ll soon find.
So, homeward, child, we venture, united in My love.
I have waited for this moment, when yonder up above,
you’ll see things unimagined,
you’ll look upon your God.
And forever we’ll be together,
because this path we’ve trod…
Yes, Homeward, My child, it is time to go.
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
(I Corinthians 15:20-22)