Through a Different Lens

Dennis Bailey Dennis Bailey

Welcome to a new category of posts for this site, entitled “Ark Building for Today’s Believer,” a series of regularly recurring devotionals. I hope it will give you another reason to stop by and visit.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Most of you have probably heard of this well-known verse of Scripture. Not so coincidentally, it just happens to be my all-time favorite. Basically, it’s a promise, one of anywhere between 3,000-5,500 (depending on who’s doing the counting) contained in the Bible. My purpose today is get you to look at it as something much more.

A year ago last Sunday (July 30th), I lost the second of my two closest friends to a tragic and unexpected death. Even though we’d only known each other for two years, I felt as close to this man as to any brother. I was devastated. Nine months prior, another close friend had died of complications related to heart failure. Not as tragic a death to be certain, but just as heartbreaking. All in all, it was a very bad year. I’m sure there are some of you who can relate.

So what do the unexpected deaths of two friends have to do with the passage of Scripture cited above. Well, as noted, 1 Corinthians 2:9 is a promise, one that I’d selfishly guarded most of my life for how it relates to me, personally. Basically, it says there is nothing in man’s imagination that can compare with what God has in store for us as believers. So, in addition to being a promise, it’s also a mystery, one that we’ll not have answered until we get to heaven.

Now that a year is past, and the pain of losing my two friends isn’t quite as acute as it was back then, I’ve been able to view this Scripture through a different lens. It’s a bifocal lens, envy on the top, elation on the bottom. Envy because as a retired police detective, I spent a career in the pursuit of solving mysteries, and here my two friends have received the solution to the one of my favorite Scripture ahead of me. Elation at the knowledge that they have received the due reward of the promise of that same Scripture: eternity with Jesus Christ.

If you’ve lost a loved one recently, or even if considerable time has passed, I invite you to spend some time with this verse. I can pretty much guarantee you it will lift your spirits. It might even make you a little jealous.

How about you? Do you have a favorite passage of Scripture that speaks to you in a different way than it used to? If so, I would be delighted to have you share it here.