A New Beginning
Psalm 23:4 ESV
I’ve been on the planet long enough that I’ve seen my share of loss.
Since I was ministry for 30+ years I’ve been to my share of funerals.
I count myself blessed.
That’s because God has been ever so gracious to me when I’m suffering. I was really close to my dad and I was 34 years old when he died. I wasn’t sure how I could go on without him.
God was gracious and patient as He taught me how to grieve.
I learned that for me grief came in waves. I think God only gave me as much as I could handle. I remember the last time I really broke down in tears after my dad died I was 39 years old. There were times after that when I still missed him and I would be sad, but I didn’t sob so much.
I just missed him.
Over the course of that five year time period I became grateful he was in heaven and he wasn’t suffering anymore. My dad was a pray-er and I believe he’s part of a very large pray-er group in heaven. I like that.
When I recently lost my long-time prayer partner I missed her, but I was really really grateful she was healed. She suffered at the end and I didn’t want her to suffer.
Psalm 23:4 tells us,
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
I was grateful God was with her on her journey from earth to heaven.
I was grateful she wasn’t afraid.
I am grateful she’s in a place where there is no evil.
I’m grateful she’s with Jesus.
I’m ever so thankful she is comforted.
When she passed I knew she had gone. I felt heaven’s door open to receive her. I knew she was safe and she was in a better place.
Still, I think I learned some things about death when she passed. I had a sense that she was still her scrappy self in heaven. While she was on earth she was a mover and a shaker and I think she’s still the same in heaven. I picture her sitting with Jesus telling Him what it’s really like for women on earth.
She was a big advocate for women and for the poor…I think she still is advocating for them.
While she was on earth she fought for the down trodden.
I think she’s fighting for them in a different way now.
She prayed for me and helped me through some pretty rough times, and I think she has told Jesus why some things that happened to me were really unfair. I think she’s still fighting for me. The difference is that she has more tools in her toolbox now.
I’m not positive but I think maybe, just maybe when I tell Jesus how very grateful I am that she was my prayer partner for so many years, He tells her that I’m grateful. I think maybe, just maybe Jesus hugs her and tells her she “done good”.
When I sit with God and I think of her I get the feeling she’s sitting with God, too.
I guess I’m saying that I don’t think heaven is terribly different from the good things we experience on earth.
The biggest difference of course is that there isn’t any evil there. That’s a little hard for me to imagine, but when I get really quiet and sit still, I can get a sense of what God is like. That’s when I know what heaven is like…it’s filled with the glory of God.
Imagine living in a place like that for eternity.
Everyplace you go, everything you feel, every thought you have is covered by God’s glory.
Plus, everybody there is experiencing the same glory.
Doesn’t that sound marvelous?
I think it sounds wonderful.
When I think of heaven being like that, I’m really really grateful the people I love are there. All of my great-grandparents were incredible people and they are there. My grandparents are all there. My dad is there. I have a baby there. My dear dear friend is there.
Personally, I think heaven is going to be like one big grand reunion. All the time. For all time. That’s very alright by me!
And if I stay here on earth for a while longer, I think those folks who prayed with me and for me could still be praying in heaven.
So, Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Heaven
Get in a comfy position and sit with God. Experience a little piece of heaven.
In God, Deborah