Missing Persons – April 29, 2022

Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
Genesis 5:24


Military Devotion – April 29, 2022

Devotion based on Genesis 5:24

See series: Military Devotions

I wish to report some missing persons.

When I look in places where I have seen them before, they are not there. Sometimes I think I hear their voices, but I am always mistaken. I wish they had not left. There is happy news I would like to share with them. There have been sorrows that their presence would have lessened.

Sometimes I dream that their going away was only a dream and everything is good again—that they are in my life again.

But they are not.

Some mornings I awake with the feeling of the old days—until memory tells me that those days have passed and will never return.

They are no more.

This does not surprise me. I have learned of the thing called death. My earliest memory of it was when my puppy was run over by a car. My dad buried it next to the garden. I checked the next day to see if the puppy dug himself out of his grave.

He did not.

I learned that death was permanent. The most we can do is shed some tears over it and accept that what has died will be missing.

Thankfully, some of the people who are now missing from my life told me about the life after this life. I learned that not only did I have a daddy who was with me at the burial of my puppy, but also another father who once watched over the burial of his beloved son.

Both fathers loved me. One of them was helpless before death. The other one destroyed the power of death.

I learned to sing, “Death itself, is transitory. I shall lift my head in glory.”

The one who taught me that hymn is now among the missing. I no longer see or hear him. I miss him.

Dreadful words echo from a long-ago garden.

“Dust you are and to dust you will return.”

It is said that no one leaves this life alive. That is usually true.

Except.

Except someone called Elijah who was escorted to heaven in a fiery chariot without dying.

Except an Enoch, of whom it is written, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

Both are listed among the missing. But we know where they went, and we know how they got there. We know where to find them now.

They are with God because God took them to heaven.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could happen as easy as that to our loved ones? If it could happen to us?

Is that not actually what has happened and will happen to those who placed their hope in Jesus, the Lord of life?

It is.

So, they are not missing after all. We just cannot see them now.

They are more alive than ever because the threat of death has been canceled. They flourish in the wonder and glory of the ever-living Creator and Savior.

Enoch has nothing over us.

We, too, walk with God each day, do we not?

One day he will take us away, will he not?

Someday someone may list my name on a stone placed among others that serve as memorials for the missing.

But you will know where to find me.

Let the inscription read: “He walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

Prayer:
“Jesus, your blood and righteousness
my beauty are, my glorious dress;
mid flaming worlds in these arrayed,
with joy shall I lift up my head.” Amen.
(Christian Worship 573:1)

Written by Rev. 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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