Aim high – May 31, 2020

“In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that you may also be where I am.”
John 14:2,3 EHV


Military Devotion – May 31, 2020

Devotion based on John 14:2,3

See series: Military Devotions

The United States Air Force already claims the words “Aim High” as its motto. We acknowledge that but point out that other groups also find meaning in these words. Christians are one of them.

After all, the Christian life aims not at the grave—but beyond the sky.

A recent writer suggests a way to face death peacefully during a pandemic. In short, he says, “Accept the idea that we are nothing.”

He tells us, “We are negligible instances, inhabiting a random, unremarkable backwater of the universe, basking for an instant or two in the light of a dying star.”

He thinks that one day we will only be a strange figure in a family photo. “Soon enough we’ll diminish into uncertainty and then we’ll be entirely unknown, a blip in an uninteresting record in an unexamined file somewhere in a never-visited archive. It will be as if we had never been.”1

“As if we had never been…”

A voice within wants to call out: “That’s not true! My life has meaning! I am not nothing.” We think of the great things that people have accomplished. “Surely, that counts for something!”

But does it? Centuries ago, someone wrote, “The paths of glory lead but to the grave.” Isn’t that so?

What about the words, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”? Aren’t they true?

If even our Creator calls us mere dust, where else are we headed, but to the grave? Isn’t that where the molecules of our body will become part of the fabric of the universe, in which our planet is just a speck?

Looks like it.

But looks can be deceiving. In this case, they are! We need to look in through the eyes of our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier God.

Our life ends, not at the grave, but beyond the sky. We are heaven-bound.

We are to aim high.

That’s not always easy to do. Fears, doubts, and worries pull us down. We can think of hundreds of reasons why we should not expect to survive the grave—and each of them may be valid.

There is only one reason to expect that we will be lifted to glory: the promise of God. And that reason overrules everything else!

It’s not a sales pitch. They’re not empty words to make us feel better for a little while. The promise is backed by blood! Holy, precious blood.

The disciples saw Jesus lift off from the earth. They knew he would be coming back for them.

In a Communion hymn, we sing to our Lord, “Remember that I am but dust.” “Help me when doubts assail me.” We need that help.

We are not among the unknown. Our Redeemer calls us by name. He will give that help.

That poet who wrote that our paths lead but to the grave? He understood life does not end there. He knew the path continues on to bring the Christian to what he called “the bosom of his Father and his God.”2

He knew the ascended Jesus leads us to heaven. We know that too.

We will aim high.

Prayer: Lift up our eyes, Lord Jesus, that we may be reminded of your promise and await your return with hope and joy. Point our hearts ahead and above to your heavenly mansions. Amen.


1 In an article by The School of Life
2 “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” by Thomas Gray.

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Belle Plaine, Minnesota.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.

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