Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hope From the Past

As a kid growing up (mostly in the 80's, mind you), I used to listen to a Christian rock group that my older brother liked called Petra. Sometime in the early 80's my father, somewhat surprisingly, took us to a concert and I remember loving it. Of course we bought all of their albums and eventually tapes (CDs were still about 10 years away) for a few years and I even went to another concert of theirs with my youth ministry sometime in the early 90's. As a group, Petra is extremely prolific and still popular in some places like Mexico since they have lots of recordings in Spanish. Even when my interest in them and Christianity faded, I always respected them for being so openly straightforward about their beliefs and the fact that they use so much Scripture in their lyrics. There is no doubt where they stand.

Nevertheless, out of all music that I have heard from them, my favorite song is still one that I heard as a little kid at that first concert. It is called "Grave Robber" and God brought that song to my mind this morning as I was sitting here at work thinking about my little girl, Magdalena Grace. As the old lyrics came to mind, I began to cry (thankfully, I am almost always alone at work) thinking how meaningful that song is to me now. It was always a song that was profound and hopeful, but now it is personal. No matter what God chooses to do with the life of our sweet little Magdalena, Julie and I can rest in the fact that we will spend a joyful eternity with her in the presence of King Jesus .

I am so thankful that God uses things, even from 25 years ago, to remind us that He has loved us even before we were born and will continue to love us for all eternity.

This is "Grave Robber":

"There's a step that we all have to take alone
An appointment we have with the great unknown
Like a vapor this life is just waiting to pass
Like the flowers that fade
Like the withering grass

But life seems so long and death so complete
And the grave an impossible portion to cheat

But there's One who has been there and still lived to tell
There is One who has been through both heaven and hell

And the Grave will come up empty handed that day
Jesus will come and steal us away

Where is the sting? Tell me, where is the bite?
When the grave robber comes like a thief in the night
Where is the victory? Where is the prize?
When the grave robber comes and death finally dies

Many still mourn and many still weep
For those that they love who have fallen asleep
But we have this hope though our hearts may still ache
Just one shout from above and they all will awake

And in the reunion of joy we will see
Death will be swallowed in sweet victory

When the last enemy is gone
From the dust will come a song
Those asleep will be awakened
Not a one will be forsakened
He will wipe away our tears
He will steal away our fears
There will be no sad tomorrow
There will be no pain or sorrow"

~John Hartman, "Grave Robber"


  1. Thank you for the reminder that death is not the end. We will be reunited eternally. Praying for you three! Cathy & Annabel

  2. GBelser11:44 AM

    Never was a Petra fan but that is a great song...because of the great God who makes it true. We are praying for you guys. May God extend His deepest mercies to you all. Greg

  3. I found your blog through the Obriens blog.

    I have walked the same shoes you are walking. Thank you for giving GOd the glory during your trial. I know its so hard, but you will be blessed immensely by your precious daughter.

    Praying for you,
    Aimee Weathers


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