Perhaps you are familiar with The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. If so, this poem may bring to memory the scene in which Christian must cross the river to get to the Celestial City. If not, you should definitely read it! As I have watched my grandfather deal with his cancer and prepare for his own journey through the river that is death, that scene from the book has been in the forefront of my mind. The promise of God and our eternal hope is that we are not alone (Isaiah 42:1-3a) and that nothing, not even death, can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38-39). My Papaw's life has been a testimony to Jesus Christ. The same is true of this last portion of the journey, if not more so. I pray that as you read you can imagine our Friend giving aid to you or a loved one as the crossing is made from this life to the next.
Rolling river rushes by,
I hear the waters roar.
I see eagles in the distance;
Over mountaintops they soar.
My dearest Friend, on other shore,
Says, “Dear friend, come now to Me.”
I glance behind and there I see
My precious family.
Rivers on their faces;
Tears of sadness, tears of joy.
I love them all so dearly,
Every girl and every boy.
I go to them and tell them
I must cross this river wide.
“I know Whom I have believed,
See Him on the other side!”
They, too, know I must cross,
And with our souls, all is well.
I fix my eyes now on my Friend,
And step into the river’s swell.
I pass through the rushing waters,
But I am not overtaken.
My Friend is there beside me;
I am not forsaken.
Though the waters push and pull,
My Friend makes firm my path.
Though there’s fury in the crossing,
I am shielded from the wrath.
He has safely brought me over
By the strength of His great might.
My hope is now fulfilled!
My faith is now made sight!
I thought that I had loved Him,
Now I love Him even more!
Now nothing separates us—
Sin died in the river’s roar.
He places on my head
A brightly jeweled crown.
I bow myself before Him;
At His feet I lay it down.
“With Father and Son in peace now dwell.
You’ve finished the race, well done.
Your former sufferings pale in this glory.
In the cross you’ve been brought Home.”