Read His Words Before Ours!
“Some glad morning when this life is o’er,
I’ll fly away;
to a home on God’s celestial shore,
I’ll fly away.
I’ll fly away, O glory, I’ll fly away.
When I die, hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away.”
These iconic words took on a deepened reality in my life last October.
My grandmother’s “glad morning” arrived after 95 years on earth.
Her legacy includes children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. When asked what her greatest joy was, she would quickly respond that it was knowing her family walked with the Lord. It was my own walk with the Him that enabled the sorrow of saying goodbye become joy in knowing Grammy now resided in Heaven with the Lord.
We sang “I’ll Fly Away” at her funeral.
Three days later we sang it again at my friend Gabe’s funeral.
While the rendition at Grammy’s matched her traditional nature,
the tempo of Gabe’s reflected his energetic love of music.
At 37, we were not prepared to say goodbye to Gabe.
Though not a biological brother, he was counted among our family members.
Our family picture even flashed across the screen when sharing Gabe’s family pictures at the funeral.
Grief is a tricky thing.
Sometimes the ache is dull and persistent.
Other times it pierces the heart and pulls the breath from my lungs.
Since we sang this song at both funerals, it has become a comforting reminder of the presence of the Lord in the midst of the pain, as well as a joyful encouragement regarding the hope of heaven.
Have you ever found a time when the orchestration of the Lord
both humbles and surprises you?
This hymn became one of those moments for me.
Albert Brumley authored this hymn in 1929 and it was published in 1932. According to research, Brumley wrote the song while picking cotton in the fields of Missouri. A line from a song popular at the time prompted the thought of flying away.
I found myself picturing that tedious, sore-fingered process of pulling cotton on hot summer afternoons, and could easily understand the desire to escape the mundane, the painful, and the heartbreaking.
Thankfully through his own walk with the Lord and the lyrics of that secular song, Brumley brought to life hope-filled lyrics now known far and wide.
In the goodness of the Lord,
He penned this song when my grandmother was seven years old,
long before I would need the words to express my emotions.
As I stood at both Grammy and Gabe’s funerals, tears streaming down my face,
I felt the desire to fly away and escape the pain of the moment.
How I longed for Heaven!
However, I also recognized that the Lord still had
plans and purposes for my life here on the earth.
Plans that give me a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Plans that guarantee trials and tribulations. John 16:33
Plans that were prepared in advance for me to complete. Ephesians 2:10
It is the thought of these plans that anchor me in everyday life, and it is the hope of heaven that lifts my head in the midst of the day-to-day-ness of it all.
How amazing it will be to spend eternity with the Lord!
To walk on streets of gold.
To worship Him with the multitudes.
To dwell in the place He is preparing for me even now as He promised:
“Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
Until then, I will draw close to Him and let Him capture my tears.
I will hide in the shadow of His wings.
I will be thankful for the hope of what is to come.
I will dream of my own “glad morning” when I too shall fly away.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!