I have seen this beautiful sight, or so many just like it, from a plane window on many occasions. I have always thought upon viewing about the majesty and wonder of God, and the heavens He reigns over and quite honestly, our eternal abode, that all of us are so rapidly approaching.
This morning, as dawn beckoned, I awoke with the words of an old gospel song written in 1958 by Stuart Hamblen and sang so often as a “special” in the church I grew up in as a little boy. As the words rang in my heart, I remember preaching a revival, fresh out of high school as a teenage evangelist in a rural farming community.
The good Pastor was a great Tennessee acoustic guitar player with a rousing voice, and this was one of his favorite songs, and he sang it several times during those two weeks.
The song was entitled “Until Then,” and there has been some speculation that it could have been based upon the words of comfort given to God’s people described by the Prophet Jeremiah, who at that time were in Babylonian captivity as described in Jeremiah Chapter 29.
In verses 10-14, God makes beautiful promises of hope and love to His people, even though their lives are filled with great trial and grief. He tells them that His thoughts toward them “ are of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end.” And in verse 14, God tells them of a day that He will “ turn away their captivity, and will gather them from all nations.” And so the title of this great song was born, “Until Then.” Perhaps it means even more now than it did then.
I must say here, I long for the return of Jesus and the reunion of the saints of all the ages. I long for the perfect peace, joy, and glorious splendor of God’s Heaven. I know of so many I want to see of family, friends and Bible personalities, and great Christians of history that I want to converse with. Most of all, I really want to see Jesus, the Lamb of God, my Elder Brother and best friend……just the thought staggers the imagination. But……until then….I must persevere, I must work, pray, believe, keep my armor on tight and my sword sharp.
Until then… I will go on. Hear these words by Stuart Hamblen, himself now departed but saved many years ago under Billy Graham’s ministry. These are words for today…right now.
By Stuart Hamblen
My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone,
Along a trail that’s winding always upward
This troubled world is not my final home.
But until then, my heart will go on singing,
Until then, with joy, I’ll carry on,
Until the day, my eye beholds that city,
Until the day God calls me home.
The things of earth will dim and lose their value,
When we recall they’re borrowed for a while;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered up there will only bring a smile.
This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.
Yes, “Until Then.”
Dr. David M. Griffis