hope_in_death_by_evendeathliesAs we approach to celebrate Valentine Day this 14th Feb 2016, I was reading this verse and thought to share something with you all. ” … He will wipe away every tear from our eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” Revelation 21:4-5a (NASB)

I could feel the slow rhythm of his heartbeat as I laid my head against his chest. Tears quietly rolled down my face as I held back the sobs that were begging to burst forth from underneath my heart.

Closing my eyes, I remembered being 3 year old when I heard daddy passed away, strong shoulders the day he took me to the zoo. So long ago. Such sweet memories. And, yet, my heart was breaking.

Lord, not yet. Please. I’m not ready to say goodbye. I still have so much to say. I want it to be meaningful. I want Dad to know how much you love him. Not yet, Lord, not yet but he had gone.

As I curled up closer at the tomb, like that 3-year-old little boy so long ago, I could hear his shallow breathing. Gently had I wanted to cradled his hand into mine, but nothing could be accessible.
Thank you, Lord, that Dad’s not in pain. At your right time, peacefully you took him. 

The clock ticks. The moments pass. The memories linger. Yet it is time.

Having to say goodbye in absence to my dad that day was one of the hardest experiences of my life. It had only been 1 short month since he passed away, and the idea of losing him, was more than I could bear.

No longer could I hear his voice say, “I love you.” No longer could I call him and ask for his advice. No longer could I see his smile or feel his hand holding mine. What a mess to lose him without being present.

No longer.

Soon it marks the 26-year anniversary of my dad’s passing. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and my adopted mom. I miss them so much. I long to be with them again.

But even in the midst of “no longer” here on earth, there is a ray of hope that shines within me. A knowing. A promise that I will one day see them again.

I find comfort in knowing there is a real place that has been created by God and prepared by Jesus for each of us, if we accept His invitation. An extraordinary place of astounding wonder. Greater than we can fully understand or imagine. A place called heaven.

As I awake to another day on earth of “no longer,” I anchor my heart in the assurance of what Jesus said in John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” (NASB).

In those moments when the memories return and the sadness resurfaces, I find comfort and even joy for my parents as I reflect on the promise of today’s key verse. For in heaven, there is no mourning, crying, pain or death. All things are made new.

If you’re like me, and you’re missing someone special today. Someone you long to see again. To hold their hand, to capture their smile or to simply say, “I love you.” And, yet, the realization of “no longer” looms in the reality of each day that you live without them …

Can I encourage you with the truth? If your loved one accepted God’s invitation, then they are not dead but are living in heaven. In that extraordinary place, of astounding wonder, where pain and sorrow can never linger.

They’re experiencing joy and peace like they’ve never known as they celebrate the splendor of their eternal home.

And there is hope, comfort and assurance for you today that if you accept God’s invitation you too will see them again one day.

Heavenly Father, thank You for creating heaven. A place where we will spend eternity with You and our loved ones who have accepted Your invitation. Help us live with a joyful heart and share the hope we have of eternal life with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)

John 11:25, “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.’” (NLT)

John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (NIV)