"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Daily routine. Wake up. Drink Tea. Read the Bible. Devotions. Care for family. Clean the house. Go to the office... and then comes an unexpected phone call that someone you love has died. Then, all of a sudden, the world seems to stop and the reality of heaven or hell is in your face. Although this is a reality most of us live with on a daily basis, one that many have dedicated their lives to, in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God's plan for salvation for mankind, it seems like someone throwing cold water in your face when one passes from this life to enter their eternal dwelling place. In November and December of 2011, both my Grandparents passed away. Truly this was one of my biggest fears, walking through this valley of the shadow of death of loosing them. And now they are gone from this earth.
My heart rejoices knowing that they are now in the presence of the Lord, as the Bible teaches "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." (For the believer). The opposite is unthinkable. The pain is for us left behind, in which we desperately need the Lord's comfort. There is a verse in the book of Psalms (116:15) that says "Precious in the eyes of the Lord are the death of His saints." This is a reminder that God looks at the death of His children in a very different way than we do, for us left behind until our arrival.
Reality for me now is, THAT THEY HAVE FINISHED THEIR RACE - AND THEY HAVE SEEN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST.... YESHUA HAMASHIACH, they actually know what He looks like! Can you imagine??? Jesus Himself!
I have had to pause many times over the past couple of months and ask myself some serious, self examining questions. DO I LIVE IN THE REALITY THAT THIS LIFE IS TEMPORAL??? That in any minute, I could also die and be standing before Him, face to face? How different my life would be that if I lived with the CONSTANT revelation that in any second, I could be standing before my King? What in my life would I be ashamed of? Does my heart condemn me? Is there anything I am holding onto that He has asked me to let go of, and I have held onto? Have I "been about my Father's business", or my own? Am I walking with a repentant heart? Do I live my life with the reality that the choices I make are eternal?
I believe God uses all things for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose, (Romans 8:28) and in saying that, death does bring forth new life. The Bible says that He has placed eternity in our hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11. At the passing from this life on earth into the Lord's presence for my Grandparents, it has called me into the truthful reality that not only is heaven real, so is hell, and it's only a breath away.
So how am I living my life to walk out His purposes for me? "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." 1st Corinthians 5:10
Praise the Lord for His sacrifice for me, because He died, I may live. "That if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed." Romans 10:9-11
Since this loss (and heaven's gain) I find myself daily thinking about heaven. What are my grandparents doing right now? What are they seeing? There is a scripture that has been extra special to me, being 2nd Corinthians 4:18: "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." I cannot see them right now, but I will. They are eternal. And what a glorious reunion that will be!
All of a sudden, I have been awakened to something I've known for a long time. Our eternal dwelling place is only one breath away. So is seeing Jesus face to face. And so is seeing those I love who were believers, who placed their faith and trust in Christ for their salvation. I live in this reality more and more everyday, and the more the days go on, the deeper the longing to be with the Lord and those who my heart painfully misses. At the same time, I have a purpose to fulfill on this earth, and I must be about my Father's business until he calls me home as well. I need to live. To live for Christ, my husband, my son, my family, friends and ministry He has given me. Because I don't know when the breaths I am taking will be my last.
Death makes heaven real.
"What the caterpillar perceives as the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning"
I am home in heaven dear ones
Oh so happy and so bright
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light
All the pain and grief is over
Every restless tossing past
I am now at peace forever
Safely home in heaven at last
Did you wonder how I so calmly
Trod the valley of shade?
Oh, but Jesus love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.
And He came Himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread
And with Jesus arm to lean on
Could have no doubt or dread
Then you must not grieve so sorely
For I love you dearly still
Try to look beyond earth's shadows
Pray to trust our Father's will
There is work still waiting for you
So you must not idly stand
Do it now while life remains
You shall rest in Jesus's land.
When that work is all completed
He will gently call you home
Oh the rapture of that meeting
Oh the joy to see you come!
~ Author Unknown~