“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return – and come to Zion with songs – and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness! And sorrow and sighing shall flee away!” Is.35:10
It has been just a little over a week now since God — in His grace — allowed us to witness the glorious end of an earthly journey of one of God’s redeemed ones. A witness that is being described in this text. Mary Lee Carpenter entered into the eternal joy of her Lord and Savior at 7:45 AM on March 13, 2014. She was 93 years old — and she lived all those years, except for her last three weeks, healthy enough to live and move and get around by herself.
She spent her daily time reading books – listening to favorite Christian music – and writing entries into her prayer journal. She often voiced her longing to be able to just go on and be with the Lord — and lamented being so old that she did not feel “useful” anymore. “Why is the Lord keeping me here?” – she would ask. In the end, however, she became a living testimony to all of us who were there to see it — of the substantive and applicable meaning of the 16th verse from 2Cor.4: “For which cause we faint not, but though, also, our outward man perish — yet the inward man is renewed — day by day.” This is the work of the Holy Spirit of God.
The Lord God called her (with her husband) to life long service for His great glory in the ministry of Camp Del-Haven. She was faithful…to the Lord Jesus Christ in serving Him in this ministry. She came to truly understand — that everything that is done for Christ in this life – is not done at all – unless it is done by His strength and completely and totally for His glory! That’s why she never fainted in being faithful.
Beloved friends, she went to sleep in Jesus — having lived — and having worn out her old earthly tabernacle of flesh — and having been divinely prepared to be received into the glorious joy-filled presence of her sovereign Savior Substitute – her eternal Lord and Redeemer forever and ever and ever! While she closed her eyes here — her faith and hope became sight and reality there! What she couldn’t grasp of some spiritual things here — she entered into the peace, rest and pure understanding of God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit — there!
She experienced — unto its glorious completion — 2Cor.5:2 — which says: “For, also, in this (earthly house) we groan — earnestly desiring to be clothed upon — with our house which is from heaven…” And again — 2Cor.5:4: “For, also, we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened — not for that we would be unclothed — but clothed upon! That mortality might be swallowed up by life!” Yes — she bore witness to the culmination of a life drawn to — and held tight — in the grip of the gospel of the glory — only — of the Lord Jesus Christ, “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light”! She was faithful because her Lord had called her to be so. Praise his name!
For Christ’s Glory Only!