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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Grieving Octogenarian

I received a letter from a grieving octogenarian, a retired international banker who played golf regularly until failing health forced him to hang up his clubs. I had met him when I spoke at a golf outing, and we struck up a friendship. When we met, his wife was suffering from Alzheimer’s, and he was deeply concerned about her. However, he was an agnostic, so he did not believe in prayer or have any confidence in the Bible. Comfort and hope, therefore, were beyond his reach. I shared the gospel with him, but he politely ignored it.

In his letter, the agnostic old gentleman informed me that his wife of 59 years had passed away. He offered these sad words: “I know I will never see her again or talk to her or just be together as we were for 59 years.”

How differently Christians grieve when a Christian loved one dies. They harvest the promises of Scripture about eternal life in heaven, and by faith they grasp the hand of the risen Savior. Christmas escorts us to the birth of Jesus and reinforces in our thinking the fact He came to save us from our sins and to give us assurance of heaven through personal faith in Him. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15).

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