As Jesus was preparing to leave this world, he said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4 (NIV)
Today would have been my mother’s 88th birthday. And while it would have been great to celebrate this day with her, I am thankful that she is at home with the Lord. I am also thankful that her pain and suffering is no more. She struggled through the last few months of her life here on this earth but she now has a new and glorious body and she is free of any sickness, sorrow, or pain.
My mother had a great impact on my life. My father did as well, but it was my mother who taught me more about how to have a life long relationship with God. She lived a life that reflected the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ. She was not perfect but she gave me her time and made me feel loved. As I grow older, I find myself doing many of the things she did for me for my own children. I love them fiercely and there is not a day that passes that I do not begin my day praying for their health, safety, and for God to be merciful towards them.
Jesus wanted his disciples and us to know that heaven is a real place that is being prepared for each one of us who believe in Christ, as our Lord and Savior. Before Jesus left this earth he said, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” What a wonderful and reassuring promise from Christ. He has prepared heaven for all who trust him and believe upon His name. And he waits for us in our heavenly home.
In this life we come to know many disappointments. When we lose someone, we certainly feel sorrow and disappointment. Jesus promises us that in heaven, we shall never again encounter sorrow or disappointments. In heaven, we will have all that we need. We will never lack anything and there will be so many good and wonderful things that we will enjoy. Although I miss my mother today, I take great comfort in thinking about her and all that she is seeing and experiencing in heaven at this very moment. She is where we all desire to be.
On earth, we are separated from our loved ones who have passed and we are separated from God. However, in heaven, there will be no more separation. The seas on earth separate people and continents from each other. The Bible tells us that in heaven there will be “no more sea.” In heaven, we will no longer be separated from our loved ones who have believed in Christ and we will no longer be separated from God. In heaven, we will be perfectly content and have all that we need. We will dwell with God. “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).
I recall standing by my mom’s bedside and holding her hand as she drew her last breath. I remember looking into her face for the last time. I remember asking God to bring her into the heavenly home that Christ prepared for her long ago. I had a powerful feeling of peace as we let her go, knowing that she was already in the presence of God. Happy Birthday Mom! I know that I will one day see you again in that incredible heaven that I can only imagine, but you are experiencing, in the presence of God.