Last and First

Yesterday I had the privilege of standing at the bedside of a man who took his last breath on earth and his first step in heaven. It is a holy moment. On this side I found myself wanting to breathe for him. There were tears and appropriate mourning. At the same time I was imaging how freeing and fascinating it must be for him at that very moment to be experiencing heaven. My faith in God’s word tells me he was entering a life infinitely more beautiful, satisfying, freeing and healthy than we can fathom. I could almost feel the rush it will be to enter into the physical presence of my Creator and Savior God. I’m sure it exceeds my puny imagination but the sence of expectation and gratitude is overwhelming.
I’m so glad that God gives us one with the other. Our last act here immediately becomes our first there. Our mourning here gives way to peace that our loved One is with His heavenly Father. Sadness and loss are bouyed up by faith. Jesus who has been the One who brings good out of every earthly situation and has never failed us is the same One who meets our loved one on the other side to utter those words only made possible by grace, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter in.” The Holy Spirit who is our tangible presence and our best friend carries us through times like this on earth and ushers us into the presence of the Father in eternity. This is an incredibly amazing hope we have in relationship with our triune God. And to see it play out before my very eyes was sacred, sad and peaceful all at the same time. Only God can love like this!
What a privilege to live in relationship with Him! O death where is you sting? Whatever we endure in this life it is worth it a thousand times over to live in relationship with God.
I know that one day I will take that path and so will you. Everyone I love and even those I don’t know around me will inevitably cross the threshold from this life to the next. I’m so grateful that we can know Jesus in this life and we have His word and His Spirit to prepare us for the day we stand before the Father. Don’t let anything in this life distract you from accepting His invitation to walk with Him now so you can walk with Him them.