When the phone rings during the night or too early in the morning, chances are good that the caller bears sad news. Such was the case yesterday morning.
The caller was my mom, and she told me that Aunt Louise—one of my dad’s younger sisters and the woman whose name my parents adopted as my middle name—had died a few hours prior after her lengthy and valiant fight with cancer.
It just so happened that I was enjoying my devotional time when Mom called. No kidding—here’s what I was reading. How appropriate was this???
“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit…Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5,8 NLT).
Last night Aunt Louise’s earthly tent came down, weakened and toppled by disease. But God had prepared a heavenly house for her to move into, and she did just that. Now she’s enjoying a body forever free from aches and pains. She’s done with the limitations still facing the rest of us who linger here. She’s healthy, strong, beautiful, and ageless, and she doesn’t have a worry in the world.
Death—where is your victory? Grave—where is your sting?
Maybe you’ve recently lost a loved one, or maybe that loss is imminent. Give yourself the time and freedom to grieve and grieve well. But if your loved one had placed his saving faith in Jesus, then hold fast to the hope of heaven. Its glory is beyond our imagination. And the best part? Jesus is there, waiting with outstretched arms to welcome His kids home.
Personally, I can hardly wait! My earthly tent has a few rips and tears in it now. The fabric’s growing wrinkled and saggy in all the wrong place. Some days I wonder how long it will serve me, or how many repairs it will undergo before it’s taken down. But then I remember God’s promise to prepare a house in heaven for me. An eternal body perfect in every way. Just like the one Aunt Louise moved into last night. And I find hope.
How about you? Do you have that hope, too? If not, feel free to contact me. I’d love to explain how it’s possible.
Take a moment to imagine heaven’s glory. Listen to I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe.