Sarah (not her real name) is going through a night season, her husband, my husband’s cousin, is dying. They have been married for 60 years and she is about to become a widow.
I don’t know about you dear reader, but as I age people of age look and act younger and younger, at least the crowd I run with do. I recall when I was growing up in the country that the people who were part of my grand-parents circle were old; they looked old and they acted old…. in their 60’s. At this stage of my life a 60 year old person is still very young looking and acting. I am not sure how to account for that but I don’t believe it is because I am aging. : )
At any rate, yesterday I spent an hour and a half on the phone with Sarah and her daughter, Reenie, about the death of their husband and father. We cried together and consoled each other. No doubt after the funeral we will talk about those times we spent together, the good food, the fun and relationship that we have enjoyed over the years. It is hard to see him go, but as the scripture says: “We do not sorrow as those who have no hope.” I Thessalonians 4:13
Our hope is in Messiah, Jesus, and in what He has done for us. It is through His finished work that we have peace and know that on the other side of the death of the body is life in the Spirit.
Jerry (not his real name) will pass away from this earth realm, he will leave his earthen body behind, now eaten up with cancer, and be escorted by the angels into Heaven where a welcoming party will await him…his family who have gone on before.
God is all about family. It is His idea. Oh, the joy of reunion with family gathered there. We who are still earthbound long to be with them and assure ourselves that “it won’t be long”. Though truthfully, it seems interminable sometimes, especially as the world system gets darker and darker.
Heaven holds more joy and extends far beyond seeing our family though, there will be no greater joy than being with our Father God and the Lord Jesus whom we love; Jesus is the reason for the joy of Heaven but it all exists because of God, our Father.
Scripture says (I Corinthians 15:22-28) that Jesus must rule and reign until everything is brought into submission and when it is, He will turn the Kingdom of God over to His Father. Jesus though King of kings and Lord of lords is still the Son of His Father and yet He co-rules with God in Heaven.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) What does that mean? Are we to deny the pain, the sorrow, the hurts and the wounds while we go around with a smile plastered on our face? I don’t believe so. To me it means that the “stuff ” we face is temporary. Jesus made a way through it and if we desire to overcome as He did, we can have what He provided for us to do so.
The answer to overcoming is in the peace of God, the kind of peace that only can come from Him, that peace that was proclaimed the night of Jesus birth, He is our peace. It is this peace that keeps our heart and our mind in Him and that is the key. It is IN HIM and it is all about where we focus our attention. Luke 2:14; Isaiah 26:3
If our thoughts are ever and always on earthly things we will be subject to vacillating emotions, a veritable roller coaster of highs and lows. When our eyes are upon the only one who is eternal, we will walk in peace though the world around us is falling apart.
Reenie, my cousin’s’ daughter, correctly said that a butterfly can never return to being a caterpillar, but the butterfly will die and fall to earth because it is earthly. Everything of this earth is temporary. The only thing eternal here is human beings, because we were created by God in His image and in His likeness. Genesis 1:27
We are given a choice. We can choose the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be our God and be outfitted for Heaven or we can choose not to do so. Choice affects destination.
Blessed, dear cousin, is your memory to those who loved you. After you met the Lord Jesus your joy overflowed to all around you and it was our joy to spend time with you. We will miss those times of food, fun, and fellowship. The blessing of the Lord be upon you as you take your journey to our Father. I love you, Joy