In January I went to another funeral, the second in six weeks. The total is now six men, so I know six women who were unexpectedly thrust into widowhood.
My cousin Chuck was in his early seventies. In January he cleared two feet of snow with the snow blower. Returning to the house, he told his wife that was the worst snow he’d ever done, had a heart attack and died instantly. What a shock!
But isn’t that how we all want to go? Instantly!
I’ve reached several conclusions.
First, I’m not getting any younger. It’s like I’m at the store and I’m getting closer and closer to check out. My cart is full and I’ve got lots to buy, places to go, people to see and things to do. And I’m raring to go, but I’m running out of cash, and time!
Second, I surprisingly enjoy funerals because they bring out the best in all of us. Story after story unfolds as we recall and retell events so many years ago and laughter helps soothe the grief. No reason to keep a secret anymore. And people always say the nicest things about you at your funeral.
The grief is painfully emotional because of the sudden separation of a loved one. But I view their departure as just going on ahead as they patiently pray on a park bench on the other side of eternity. There’s a small bridge over a gently bubbling stream with water so pure it sparkles. They’re waiting at a “retreat center” that is simply out of this world where the weather is unbelievably pleasant and the Son is always shining!
Because of these recent funerals, I had an imagination about heaven and finishing a race. Have you ever been to a marathon and you’re waiting near the finish line? It’s like Paul said “I have finished the race . . .”
It takes thousands of people hours to cross the finish line. There are always greeters and encouragers before and after the runner crosses the finish line. Those saints who have already completed their journey crowd the sidelines and cheer their encouragement. Crossing the finish line, the applause gets louder as cheers turn into roars. Crowds are getting deeper and higher. Millions of saints welcome you home. No more struggles! No more pain!
Crossing the finish line is like entering the grandest family reunion ever. We are all Brothers and Sisters in Christ and the family resemblance is striking!
You now run like an Olympian as the formerly old, ill or broken body is now new, whole and strong, and will never again experience sin. A rebirth with supernatural energy completes this final race to meet Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior face to face.
You feel love. You are in complete fellowship with Jesus and the love that He expressed for you before He died on the cross for your sins. You see love and every sense is completely enthralled with His love. It’s all true. And you never again to be separated from God’s presence, ever.
It all started with His Grace, and ends completely with His Grace.
Blessed is the man who trust in the Lord and who has made the LORD his hope and confidence. Jeremiah 17:7