In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so,
I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a
place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for
you, I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am.”
John 14: 1-3 (NIV)
It had been a year to the day since my sister had passed away from cancer. I sat in my usual church pew - south side, four rows from the back –trying to focus on the picture over the baptistery of the cross and Jesus with His arms outstretched.
My heart ached for her loss – not just for me as her sister but for her husband, daughters and grandchildren. I could not contain the tears threatening to break through or the knot that began to swell in my throat as it had so many times those past several months after saying goodbye to Mary.
“Help me with this heartache, Lord.” I silently begged. “I miss her so much!” And as He often does when His children call His name, the Lord whispered to my heart this wonderful thought:
"On this day a year ago, you were preparing for Mary to die. But I was preparing for her to live! You were sadly expecting her to leave the earth but I was eagerly waiting for her to arrive in heaven."
I could just imagine our Father shouting "Get ready! My child Mary, my precious servant, is coming soon! Be prepared for her arrival!" as angels hurried to have her mansion ready.
We see the death of loved ones as a loss and it certainly is – for us. We mourn the fact that we will not talk to them again here on earth . . . we miss smiles and laughter and hugs and their very presence with us.
But our Father views the death of His children as something entirely different. He welcomes them Home. He ushers them into His presence. He puts His arms around them and showers them with love and compassion.
Amy Grant sang it very well: “In a little while we’ll be with the Father. Can’t you see Him smile! In a little while we’ll be Home forever . . . in a while. We’re just here to learn to love Him. We’ll be Home . . . in just a little while.”
I have no doubt that, as my sister stepped into His presence, Our Father declared for all to hear: “Well done Mary, my good and faithful servant! Welcome Home!”
Father, Thank you for loving us for an eternity…for wanting us to live with you…for not only building our heavenly Home with your hands but for celebrating as you bring us into your kingdom! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
Do you ever get caught up in the everyday craziness of life here on earth?
Does that cause you to think more or less about our eternal Home?
Thank the Lord each morning for your temporary home away from Home.
As you give thanks, ask God to place people in your path who need to know about your eternal Home.
John 14: 1-3 (NIV) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
I Corinthians 15:55 (NIV) “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
I Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV) “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog Encouragement from the War Room.)