The wicked person is thrown down by his own wrongdoing, but the righteous person has a place of safety in death. (Proverbs 14:32)
Relate: The above is the ISV. NIV says, “When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.” The KJV, “The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.” The NLT which I usually use, “The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die.”
I called her Leperhead. Her mother called her Blueberry. Most of the rest of the world called her Harlee. At a little over two months old, I don’t think she much cared what you called her. She was a beautiful treasure. On Mother’s day four years ago I took Harley’s mom, my sister, along with her grandmother, my mom, and a couple of her aunts and uncles out to lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s. Afterwards I went home to sleep and Jalit took her daughter to my moms house to hang out with others in the family. Sometime late that night Harlee and Jalit headed home. Harlee was placed on her mother’s bed when Jalit started feeling sick. Her mom had eaten too much and got sick in the kitchen and in the bathroom. More than just eating too much, she was suffering from hyperglycemic ketoacidosis. That’s a fancy word for high blood sugar. Jalit sat down in a chair to rest for a bit. She never woke.
Harlee was laying there on the bed and at some point she would have begun crying because she was hungry. For some strange reason her cries were not answered like they normally are. Those cries grew in anger and desperation as her want grew to a need which became a crisis. Still unanswered her cries would have grown weaker as exhaustion and dehydration set in. Eventually, all alone in that house, Harlee also slipped into eternity.
React: This is not the end of the story. As sad and as hard as it is to talk or even think about, I know the hope… the confidence that I have in seeing Harlee again. I know this because I know what sin is and I know who God is. First of all, I know that what God says is true. He says that “the godly have a refuge when they die.” He says, “you have been fearfully and wonderfully made.” He says, “all things are made through Him [Jesus], without Him nothing is made that has been made.” What God makes is good. What God creates is holy… righteous. Harlee was made good.
I also know what sin is. It is missing the mark. It is rebellion against the will of God. It is a choice. It is not a birth defect. If sin (rather than the propensity for sin) was something we are all born with, then all babies would go to hell. If sin, rather than its propensity, was a fact of our birth then every time a young child dies, God has done evil. God does not and cannot do evil. Harlee has been sheltered from the vagaries of this world. She has been spared the turmoil of this life. She has found a place of safety in death that life did not… could not provide for her.
God, I thank You that Your Word is sure. I thank You that I can have the confidence that You are a good God. Please give peace to those of us who still endure the trouble of this world. Give rest to those of us whose hearts are in turmoil. Shelter us here until that glorious day when, upon death or Your return, we might enter that permanent place of refuge.