“I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.” Psalm 23:6
You may not recognize the passage above from the version of Psalm 23 you memorized or have read throughout your life. Eugene Peterson, the translator of The Message Bible, cuts out the poetic gate of Psalm 23 and just says what the scripture needs to convey.
A couple of years ago, before going on an extended vacation, my husband and I reviewed our final “wishes” documents. It gives me a sense of comfort knowing that my end-of life plans are in place for my children and medical providers. It amazed me when I shared with friends that we have our wills, medical powers of attorney, the document signing our bodies over to science, and our desire to be buried in the Arizona National Cemetery, that she went silent and after a pause she said, “I don’t like to talk about this.”
God never promised any of us eternal life on earth. It is a fact. We will all die. I often make my own greeting cards–especially sympathy cards–and write this verse, “The life cycle on earth is complete” and if the person passes on at a younger age, I add, “all too soon for those who love him” (or her). We are living a life cycle in which only God knows the hour and day it will end. But we can plan for that day.
Dear God, when the life cycle on earth is over, receive our souls into the life that never ends. Amen.