Some of my friends declare that they can’t wait to see Jesus face to face. They say this with enthusiasm, with smiles, and with energetic fist pumps, joy sparkling in their eyes. But me, well, there must be something wrong with me because when I consider my own mortality and death, I feel sad. Facing mortality is not as clear cut as some let on.
I understand what my friends say about seeing Jesus and being in His presence. Who doesn’t want to go to heaven where the streets are paved in gold, God’s light illuminates, and His love and goodness envelope us with everlasting joy and peace? In heaven, we won’t face any more pain, fear, and sorrow. We won’t be hungry or thirsty; we won’t be cold or hot. Perfection awaits us in heaven because that is where God is. It will be glorious and wonderful. I get that. I want that.
When I was new to the faith, I remember an elderly woman declaring the same sentiments, but when she became ill, she asked for prayers of healing and deliverance. I see this in all of us. We pray for loved ones to be healed and granted a longer life, no matter their age. Why is this? Because we love them, of course. Nothing wrenches our hearts with such sorrow as being parted with a loved one. Yet we know that in death, those who love God will be with God. So, that means they are in Paradise where everything is so good and beautiful.
I’ve prayed with dying loved ones that it is okay to let go of fighting here to run into the arms of Jesus. Emotions conflict. I wanted what was best for that person even if it hurt the rest of us. I focused on thanking God for the times we had together. Grief still brought mourning, but peace rested on me, as well.
When I hear concerning medical reports or face dangerous conditions, my first response isn’t, “Jesus, take me home,” but rather, “Jesus, help me”. Does that make me weak? Am I a coward then? I don’t think so. Does it mean I love someone here more than I love Jesus? I hope not, because we are supposed to love God more than we love anyone else.
Too complicated to understand
My heart is too complicated for me to understand. Thankfully, God knows our hearts, and thankfully, He knows what we need and will help us get to where we need to be.
Our time in this life is so short. I hope I can learn to love without limitations, without fear holding me back. Yes, I want to love like Jesus and to run into His embrace. Perhaps, when it is my time, these thoughts will disappear, and I won’t consider the losses here, but only see the benefits there. Is this what people mean when they discuss growing closer and closer to God and reaching the ultimate goal in life? The ultimate gift is spending eternity with Jesus. Will one day I boldly exclaim, “Where is your sting, oh Death?”
One thing I do know for certain is that God has it all figured out. I can give Jesus my burdens, and He will take care of them so I can rest in Him. It’s a daily choice we all make, this giving our fears to Him and learning to trust.
What have you learned in your own wrestling over this subject?
For a related blog, check out https://www.michellekaderlywelsh.com/need-for-life-insurance-debated-stirs-up-unwanted-fears/.