When my grandfather passed away last month after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, I started thinking about Heaven much more than usual.
We all rejoiced knowing that he was able to be himself again, to visit with so many loved ones, and – even more importantly – because he is with Jesus!
His death brought such peace to my heart because of all he had endured over the past ten years, and it makes me so happy to know that he is whole again.
It isn’t that I’ve never spent time thinking about Heaven – I just never really wanted to go there, yet. I am young, life has been good to me, and there are so many more experiences to be had, so it was always something far in the future (I hoped) I could look forward to and find comfort and joy.
But, with Tori being terminally ill, my perspective on all of this has shifted.
The world is growing worse by the day. Evil abounds. Sin is rampant. I hate watching or reading the news because it only brings stress and frustration into my heart. The Bible’s words are yet again being proven true by the day – things keep getting worse. And we know that they won’t get any better until Jesus returns.
God has promised us that if we follow Jesus we will spend eternity in Heaven. Eternity. Not 100 years as we might live on this earth, but forever.
Given all of these things, why wouldn’t I long for Heaven?
An older song by MercyMe has been in my mind frequently over the past month and its message is so timely:
You’re in a better place, I’ve heard a thousand times,
And at least a thousand times I’ve rejoiced for you.
But the reason why I’m broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you?
I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now
Help me Lord cause I don’t understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I’ll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I’m still here so far away from home.
In Christ, there are no goodbyes,
And in Christ, there is no end.
So I’ll hold onto Jesus with all that I have to see you again…
If God chooses to take Tori to Heaven before us, as hard as that will be, there is joy even in that.
How? She will be free from pain, from Krabbe, from this evil world. She will be safe and she will be with Jesus. And, compared to eternity, it won’t be that long until we meet her again!
This doesn’t mean I am excited to lose her here on earth, not at all. Rather, I find such a comfort in knowing that she will be in the best possible place and that we will be there “soon” with her.
What a hope we have in Jesus, because of the sacrifice He made.
I am already homesick for Heaven and I know that if God takes our Tori home, my homesickness will only increase.
But, I also know that our separation will be temporary, a vapor in light of eternity. And that brings joy to my heart.
“I’ve never been more homesick than now.”
(If you have questions about what it means to follow Jesus and have a relationship with Him, ask someone now and don’t delay! No one is promised tomorrow; please don’t procrastinate on making the most important decision of your life.)