Last month, my father (who was 90) went home to Heaven. And I was reminded of several important things:
1. The gift of eternal life made possible to us by Jesus Christ
I am so thankful for my father's faith in Jesus, and his dedication to the Lord and His Church. It made it easier to say "Goodbye-for-now" knowing with assurance that I will see my Daddy again someday. It also reminded me that so many don't have that hope, because they have chosen not to believe, or they haven't yet heard about it in a way that penetrates their heart. So, I'm reminded to pray for them.
2. The treasure of family
If you are a part of a loving family, don't take it for granted—treasure it! Yes, families have their squabbles from time to time, but caring family members who support each other in love and forgiveness is something very special. And we can belike family—caring and loving—to those who don't have any.
3. The hope of Heaven can change us here and now
Hebrews 6:19 says that "we have this hope as an anchor of the soul." There is the question asked many times, "If Heaven is real, does it affect how we live today?" That is a question I've asked myself recently, and one from which we can all benefit by asking ourselves every once-in-a-while. How is the hope I have in Jesus affecting how I am living today? or... Jesus really did give His own life to purchase an eternal life for me in the awesome and all-powerful presence of the Author of LOVE Itself, so does my life here reflect that love and sacrifice? Only you can give yourself the honest answer.
4. Our time here is too short not to be joyful!
While my father loved his family so much that it seemed almost hard for him to let go in the end, he was maybe not the most jovial of people. ;-) He enjoyed a good laugh, but there were a lot of things that seemed to cause him worry and concern. That's pretty normal of course, but aren't we—as Believers in Jesus—called to a life a little abnormal? The Apostle Peter did call us a "peculiar people" after all! In this world, of course we'll have troubles, but Jesus has overcome this world, and we have the hope and the assurance of not only Heaven, but also His presence right here, right now. So, I'm reminded to rejoice! I hope you are too.