“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…”
Dr. Criswell, long-time pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, was once traveling by plane to attend a speaking engagement on the East Coast. After boarding the aircraft and getting himself settled and situated, he was thrilled to recognize the man in the seat beside him as a well-known Christian theologian. Criswell greatly admired this man and was eager to get to know him. Soon the plane left the ground and after it settled into cruising altitude, Criswell introduced himself and the two began to speak.
The theologian told the pastor how he had recently lost his four-year old son to a terrible illness. It had begun innocently enough when the child was sent home from school one afternoon after developing a fever. At first the parents thought it was a typical childhood illness that would soon run its course. But the young boy’s condition continued to worsen and that evening his concerned mother and father took him to the hospital. The doctors ran a battery of tests and told the parents tragic news–their son had a virulent form of meningitis and there was nothing they could do for him. The child was beyond medical help and was going to die.
The loving parents did the only thing they could do, which was sit with their son in a death vigil. Not even a week later, in the middle of the day, the illness began to cause the little boy’s vision to fade. He looked up at his daddy and said softly,”Daddy, it’s getting dark, isn’t it?”
The professor replied, “Yes, son, it is dark. It’s very dark.” And for the father it was.
The little boy said, “I guess it’s time for me to get to sleep, isn’t it?”
“Yes son, it’s time for you to sleep,” said the father.
The theologian explained to Dr. Criswell how his son liked his pillow and his blankets arranged just so because he liked to lay his head on his hands while he slept. He told how he helped the child fix his pillow and how his boy rested his head on his hands and said, “Good night daddy. I’ll see you in the morning.” With that the little boy closed his eyes and fell asleep. Only a few minutes later his little chest rose and fell for the last time and his life was over almost before it began.
The professor stopped talking and looked out the window of the airplane for a good long while. Finally he turned to Dr. Criswell and with his voice breaking and tears spilling onto his cheeks gasped, “I can hardly wait for morning to come!”
Though it may merely sound like the cry of a grief-stricken parent, the father’s words speak of far more. They speak of a profoundly beautiful truth, for the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who cannot lie, promised us that the morning will come. Death has been defeated and even now we eagerly await the dawn when Christ will return and death shall be no more. Only through Jesus can we have the hope of eternal life that sustains the grief-stricken father. Only through Jesus can we have assurance that he “will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.” (Revelation 21:4) Little boys will be reunited with their fathers so together they can dance for joy before the One who tasted and defeated death so others could have life.
God offers such assurance only to those who will look to Him. Do you believe in Him? Have you looked to Jesus and cried out for Him to give you life? Call out to Him today and do business with God. He will give you hope and will give you the blessed assurance that the dawn will soon break. You’ll hardly be able to wait for morning to come.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).