“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am,
and to see my glory, the glory you have given me
because you loved me before the creation of the world.’
John 17:24 (NIV)
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
If I am to go on living in the body,
this will mean fruitful labor for me.
Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
I am torn between the two:
I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far…”
Philippians 1:21-23 (NIV)
My Mother died when 93 years of age and my father died at 82 years of age. When friends greeted my brother, my sister and myself after their funerals most friends attending said something to the effect that they were sorry for our loss. Of course we responded by thanking them for coming and their words of comfort and encouragement.
My brother, sister and I loved our parents very much and always had them with us on special days of the year. Further, we visited them regularly through the year and shared our children with them for babysitting. Our family truly was filled with love.
However, I must confess that we felt a wonderful sense of peace mingling with our sorrow. Mom and Dad were happier and more fulfilled in heaven than during their lives on earth. All their suffering was over, all tears wiped from their eyes, and joy filled their hearts as they saw loved ones who had preceded them to heaven and especially as they saw their Good Shepherd.
Should we grieve when a loved one dies as though they are not promoted to a glorious spectacularly wonderful place? Ought we not to rather grieve for ourselves that we have been left behind? Indeed we sorrow over the fact that all communication is gone until we are taken to heaven ourselves. We miss being able to pick up the phone and call them any time.
It is a precious truth to know that our beloved Saviour longs to have us with Him just as our verse today makes clear. So on both sides of the veil we see a great desire for reuniting and until we are reunited we mourn the separation.
What’s so bad about heaven? Nothing whatsoever!! This world is not our home, we are in transit to our eternal home and long for the time when we too shall go home and enjoy our eternal residence. Meanwhile we continue as sojourners, ambassadors, pilgrims, who long to make our own personal trip home asap.