Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reflections on Heaven

Heaven has been on my mind a lot lately.  As I sit here typing, I am surrounded by the sounds of my mother-in-law's gentle snoring and this song playing on Abiding Radio:

"Just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven,
Of touching a hand and finding it God's.
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial
Of waking up in Glory and finding it Home."

Why has it been on my mind so much?  Because very soon my dear one will be doing just as the words in this song say.  It's been more than 2 months since she had the stroke that we thought would take her Home.  When that didn't happen, we worked to help her regain as much function as possible.  The skilled nursing facility wasn't for her and she was taken home after little more than a week.  Despite trying, she just hasn't been able to get stronger.  Her body is growing weaker and communication is getting more difficult.  Her once strong heart now beats so rapidly that it will not be able to hold out much longer.  I've cried.  A little piece of my heart has broken wide open.  I understand that I will soon lose a dear friend.

And yet there is hope!

No, not as many would think of hope.  I know she will not live much longer.  I would not wish that for her.  You see, she will be where her treasure is - Heaven.  There is so much more waiting for her than what we have to offer here on earth.  She will see her Lord face to face and she will not be alone as she has for the last year.

There is so much about Heaven that we can't know or understand.  Yet, there are a few things that God had chosen to let us know:

God will be there
There will be no sickness or pain
There is no night
There is joy in Heaven when a believer is called home
There is no sin - all is perfect
There is no end to Heaven - It is forever (which is something my finite mind can't grasp)

In the last couple of years, so many heroes have joined my Lord in Heaven that I can't help but speculate a little bit about things.  For instance, can you imagine how much sweeter the choir is sounding now that Dad Parish, Dr. Shuler, and George Beverly Shea have joined in?  How about the new piano player that joined in recently when Mrs. Shuler went Home?

However, I can't ever forget that little part that there will be no sin in Heaven.  I recently heard the testimony of someone who truly understood what sin was when she looked at herself in the light of the Ten Commandments.  Ouch!  I know that I have sinned against every single one of those and if you're honest with yourself, you will realize that you have too.  Because God is just, that would leave me in a pretty sad place and deserving of eternal hell...

BUT

My God loved me so much that He sent his Son Jesus to pay the price in full for my sin.  WOW!  That kind of love is beyond our human reasoning.  Since Jesus paid the price, all I need to do is acknowledge I'm a sinner, accept Jesus' payment for my sin, and believe that He fully paid the price.  Yes, He paid the price because I'm not good enough to pay it myself.  What an awesome gift!  This fills me with the expectancy that though I will soon part from my dear one, I will see her again.  I will see her and we will worship at the feet of our Lord together.

How about you?  Do you have the same expectancy?  Are you confident that you will spend eternity with God or do you fear the uncertainty of death?  My prayer is that you will know God personally and that you are confident that you will be with Him forever.

5 comments:

misty said...

Wonderful post Cheri, thank you for sharing from your heart. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

Nana Diane said...

Thanks for sharing from your heart, Cheri. I love that song, and for years I thought it was called, "Stepping on Shore." I was incorrect. In case you need the correct name, it's "Finally Home." It is in the Majesty Hymns hymnal. Hazel is a dear. I'm so glad I've had the privilege to know her! Praying for your family!

Valerie said...

Hi Cheri!

Yes I have the expectancy of seeing Jesus someday, actually I can't wait, actually would be just fine with me!

My father-in-law passed away suddenly about a year and a half ago and sadly, my husband and I do not have the peace that he is in heaven. He often mocked us for our faith which only lead us to believe that he did not have a faith in Jesus Christ. It is a pain like no other to know that a loved one has passed without the assurance of everlasting life.

About 9 months ago, our beloved Sunday School teacher passed away unexpected as well. He was AMAZING! One of the most "KNOWLEDGEABLE" men I have ever known! So Godly! He often speculated about how heaven was and how we earthlings could not comprehend such an infinite, powerful, mighty, omnipotent GOD! At his funeral, I know that he had all his answers and would some how continue to "teach" us with the knowledge he had gained.

I am so sorry that your heart is broken as you watch your mother-in-law slowly lose her battle with her earthly life, but I will rejoice with you as she gains permanent residence in a perfect and glorified body in heaven. Prayer of comfort for you and your family Cheri...

{{{HUGS}}}
Valerie Martin

abusybee - DoubleClick Connections said...

Hi Cheri, so sorry for your Mother in Law, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, having experienced so much death and sadness in my own personal life, I do believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and for that and the grace of God I do believe I will once again be reunited with all those loved ones I have lost. I think we are supposed to feel sad and struggle with the death of a loved one, and instead of turning away from God we should run to him with an open heart to help heal our sadness.

OmaGloria said...

Cheri your message is beautiful. My dad went to his Heavenly home on Sunday afternoon. I miss him so much but knowing he is not hurting any more brings some comfort to all of us he left behind.

Precious Hugs
Gloria