My daughter told me a wonderful story the other night. She had put her two little boys age 4 and 7 down for the night. They had watched a G rated TV show that day where the father in the story died of a heart attack. It must have got them thinking, like little boys are prone to do—especially those two! Wide-awake in their bunks, they started talking about heaven. I wish I had been a fly on the wall that night, listening in on this theological conversation because soon after, the youngest, Slaton, came out and said, “Silas says that you can do everything you want to in heaven! Is that true?” Their mom looked at him and said, “Yes, Slaton, that’s right. It’s a really great place!” Satisfied, Slaton padded back to bed. When he got back in the room, his mama heard him say, “Good news, Silas! You were right!”
This week, an amazing father in our community died of cancer. He was very special to me because we went through chemo together. He was diagnosed about two weeks before I was. This man and his wife shared their journey of faith with the entire community. They really were expecting a miracle. Yesterday was his Celebration of Life service. On the front of the bulletin was a picture of Chris standing confidently on the beach with these words, “Today, I am not only surviving, I am thriving.”
I don’t understand why I’m sitting here typing this and Chris is in Heaven, I admit to being honest with God and asking Him “why”? We often don’t have a “God-perspective” when it comes to people that we love. “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us.” (I Corinthians 13:12) There will come a time when we understand.
At the service, the minister read these words: “Jesus said to his disciples, “Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. You know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)
The good news is that yes, Silas, you were right! Heaven is a real place prepared for us. Jesus said that he wouldn’t tell us this unless it is true. There will come a time when we are all gathered together with Christ, living the eternal life that he has planned for us. It’s all in God’s time.