By Debra Whittington: Notes from the Church Lady
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. John 14:1-4
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
During a morning drive to Clovis, I noticed that Mesa Redonda was barely visible due to low-lying clouds. While I knew the mesa was indeed there, the veil of clouds obscured my vision. As I drove closer, I noticed a break in the clouds and rays of sunshine pouring down onto the mesa. It was indeed a beautiful sight to behold.
Since I was by myself, I had time to reflect on what I had seen. The scene reminded me of what heaven must be like. While we can’t visually see it, I know without a doubt that it exists. Instead of rays of sun, there is the son that provides a beautiful light throughout heaven.
Last week, I told of a promise that I made to Grandma to take her back to Utah for burial. The trip was a whirlwind of activity because when we arrived at the funeral home, there were several details to attend to and it seemed almost as though it was for someone else and certainly not for my Grandma.
We planned on a graveside funeral service, but when we arrived at the funeral home to see Grandma before the service, family members were already arriving. This surprised me because I only expected only a couple of family members to attend the funeral.
More and more family members arrived and then my Grandpa’s youngest brother suggested that we have a funeral service right there and then. We chose a couple of hymns to sing and he asked a daughter to speak. He asked me to give the eulogy and a couple more family members to offer an opening and closing prayer.
Before the service, we all gathered around the casket for a final goodbye to Grandma and Mark offered a family prayer. Then in front of us all, the funeral director closed the casket and snapped it shut.
Our makeshift funeral turned out to be one of the most heart-filled and joyous funerals I ever attended. Family members shared their memories of Grandma and while there were tears, there was joy as we reminisced.
I shared about Grandma’s later life for those who hadn’t been with her for several years. I told a couple of stories that Grandma shared with me as I was growing up. Then I told them that in her will, Grandma stressed the importance of love of a family. I said that life on this earth is only temporary, but the love of a family is eternal and spans the generations as we pass it on.
Heaven is veiled and we can’t see into it, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Heaven is real and I know that someday, I will see Grandma once again. Until that time, I have my memories, the love of family, and most important, my relationship with Jesus Christ to see me through. I know without a doubt that there is a mansion being prepared for me in heaven because Jesus said so.
If you have asked Jesus into your heart, there is a mansion being prepared for you as well. What a joyous reunion waits for believers in heaven. What a wonderful day that will be and all because Jesus made it possible through His death on the cross.