Life has a way of luring you into a trance. Early in life, life is good. No problems. It’s eventful, but the events are good. In a normal life, youth are prevented from the more difficult side of life. Brokenness doesn’t show up like it does late in life. Sure, the world is equally broken. Every child is born into sin. But the effects of brokenness—illness, death, loss—are not experienced at the same level and with the same intensity as it is later in life.
“O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?” Psalm 15:1
I’ve described my journey of loss as my unwanted journey. In loss, you’re forced to consider eternity more vividly. Loss brings you face-to-face with tough questions. I’ve been taught my entire life that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (Philippians 1:23). Heaven awaits us immediately upon death if we are, indeed, the possession of the Lord. Salvation is a free gift to the person who acknowledges their sin, turns away, and places their faith in Christ.
“Come, ye weary, heavy-laden, lost and ruined by the fall…I will arise and go to Jesus, he will embrace me in his arms; in the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.” Joseph Hart, “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy”
Loss requires a revisit to the foundation of your beliefs. Who gets to journey in the tent of God? Who dwells on God’s holy hill?
By faith, I know Kim dwells with Christ, and I am journeying with the Father, Son, and Spirit. Yes, it’s an unwanted journey through brokenness, but I journey with God. Even in loss, you are able to dwell on a holy hill. Even in loss, you are able to sojourn with God.
“He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend.” Psalm 15:2-3
Did Kim deserve salvation? Do I deserve to journey with God? Kim has an amazing testimony of love for God, service to others, use of her gift of writing, and love for her family and friends.
But no one earns salvation. Sure, he who walks blamelessly, does right, speaks truth, doesn’t slander, doesn’t do evil, and doesn’t take up a reproach against a friend is the one who journeys in his tent and dwells on his holy hill. But, make no mistake—it’s a gift of God’s grace. Salvation is justification—made new by Christ’s blood, sanctification—being made new through maturation, and glorification—united with Christ in heaven. Never earned. Only gifted.
This chapter recognizes that we are made right with God. We don’t earn it. However, we do work out our salvation. We are to fear the Lord. We are to be selfless, putting others’ interest ahead of our own. We are to deal appropriately in all our relationships.
Who will journey in his tent? Who will dwell on his holy hill? Those who are justified—made blameless, right, and true—but also those who are working out their faith.
Those made blameless who continue by faith will be immovable.
“He who does these things shall never be moved.” Psalm 15:5