Tonight it is very late and I am both physically and emotionally exhausted struggling with many of my own mixed emotions and thoughts. Though I know I need much rest I need “His Words” even more. As I dig deeper, trusting in His promises, I start to feel joy and blessings looking back on a difficult few days. I have sat across the table with several different women, on several different occasions this past week, listening to many heartbreaking situations asking God to give me the the wisdom to speak “His Words” in order to give them comfort and hope for the future.
One particular woman, who was grieving the loss of her daughter, weighs very heavy on my heart. It caused me to grieve the loss of my own loved ones. In addition, my own family was sitting next to a loved one this week waiting for her to pass safely from this world into to the next. I believe all feelings matter or God would not have given us the ability to feel such deep emotions. I have also learned from “His Words” that feelings can get in the way of His truth. I decided to try to understand more about passing from this life to the next and what Jesus had to say about heaven.
With Easter approaching soon, I thought about Jesus and His last days here, the resurrection, and what it means. I turned to the book of John for answers and found His promises. In chapter 13 we find Jesus washing His disciples feet. What does this gesture mean? I think it signifies the value of spiritual cleansing of the soul from sin. A true believer is washed clean when he received Christ as his Lord and savior.
At the end of this chapter we find Jesus telling Peter that he will deny Him. Peter’s thoughts start to spiral and fear starts to overwhelm him. But as chapter 14 continues we find Jesus telling him “ do not let your hearts be troubled.” He is saying “STOP IT.” Jesus has love, compassion, and great patience for them because He knows they do not understand the full extent of what is about to happen. Jesus goes on to explain that He is the way to heaven and eternal life and we must know Him to know God. He tells us here in John that He is the power and glory and that another will come, meaning the Holy Spirit, to live in those who believe until the end of life as we know it here on earth. He also promises to prepare a place in God’s house for us and He will be back for us believers to take us to God’s house in heaven when we pass from this life into the next. Then He promises to return here on earth someday. I realized that in “His Words” was His GPS directions on how to get to heaven.
As I reflect on my conversations earlier this week, I found myself asking why the feelings of grief and loss hit so deeply for this woman. I know my family member who is dying knows exactly where she is going. Having faith does not mean life is always easy. What I do know is that her love for her Lord has carried her through. She has lived well serving Him and raising her family according to God’s plans for each of their lives. We all grieve over our own loss of a loved one. The difference between my family and the women I sat across from several day ago grieving her daughter was that reassurance of God’s promises. My family, though they are grieving loss, trust in God’s promises and know they will see their lives one again someday. She is going home to be with God. Grieving is very hard even with this assurance, but without it I personally can not even imagine the pain and loss one must feel. So my hope and prayers tonight are for those who are lost to come to “His Words” of truth so you may find peace and comfort in knowing him.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33