1 Cor. 15 is “the resurrection chapter” the great hope, the promise of faith. Faith is to believe and live that which we have never seen. It says in v. 26, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” A picture is painted through-out this chapter of the glorious resurrection future which is promised to us through Jesus Christ. As the chapter builds to a climax, we are told there will be an instant change, the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised, and the proclamation will be shouted: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
As a whim, one day as I left, before I prayed, I thought to ask Ruth what she would like me to pray for: “pray for the salvation of all my family” was her one request. Ruth was tired, but at peace. She died the same way she lived, peaceful and contented. An amazing thing happened, which Tiffany, her granddaughter, says is common. In the last days of Ruth’s life, her eyesight sharpened and her hearing became acute. The family really had to pay attention to what they said because she could hear it all. One day George and Bev were there, George prayed, George walked out, and Ruth mumbled something. I bent my ear down to hear better and she repeated herself, “squeak, squeak.”…(the sound of George’s shoes on the floor). It’s like the Lord was giving Ruth a glimpse of the transformation of a new body.
“Where O death is your victory, where O death is your sting?”
Ruth Glass may have been tired, but she was ready to go and be with the Lord. Ruth died, but death had no sting on her. She was too confident in the Lord. Jesus Christ won the victory in Ruth. Ruth was ready. She had her faith. She had her joy. She had her family. She had her Lord. Do you know what Ruth said every time a family member asked if she wanted a drink of water? “Please.” Ruth’s faithfulness to the Lord in her gentle humble way, and the Lord’s faithfulness to Ruth, was a joy to watch, even as she faced death. Death did not win, for there was no defeat, there was no sting, but only joy, only faith, only thanksgiving, only confidence. “But thanks be to God, he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (pray for salvation, as Ruth requested).
-- Carl Crouse, Oct. 10, 2009, Nooksack Community Fellowship