[Jesus said,]“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1-3 (NLT)
There is rarely a week goes by when I do not receive a call or email from someone who is caring for their loved one who is ill or who has been recently diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or relapse. It is usually a parent that they care for but too often it is a spouse, sibling, and even their child. It brings up a subject we often do not want to think about or we believe we have plenty of time to think about it later. The phone calls or emails have questions that include what I may know based on my experience as a hospice nurse but the questions are also about what I believe after attending many deaths including my parents and my son. I am willing to listen and share with anyone who calls but more important than what I believe – is what God promises.
John Chapters 14-17 have so much in them. It could be said that they are Jesus’ eulogy as He speaks these last intense words to the disciples who will carry on the Father’s plan. And so Jesus begins with the truth about what we and the disciples might think is the end. Death.
Trust the Father and trust Me with your death. Last week, my daughter and her family came to visit. It is a 12-hour drive and by the time they arrived, the children were asleep in the car. I had the beds made up and turned down and Janet carried the two youngest in and laid them down, softly covering them up. Ahhhhhh. They slept sitting up but they rested when they had a place of comfort. That’s what a parent does. That is what our Heavenly Father promises. When He knows it is time, He will come and take me home to the place of comfort and rest that He has prepared for me.
The prepared place is perfect for me. I have traveled a fair amount and been in many hotel rooms. Most were one-size-fits-nobody forgettable and a very few were memorable because I actually slept with little effort. My Heavenly Father knows me better than I know myself. He is preparing a place that will be more comfortable than any place I have ever lived. He knows and desires to take me to that perfect home. This world is not a perfect fit. The home I live in now will more than do, for now (after all, it too was a gift from Him!) but He has so much more planned in my forever home.
I have often thought about how many sick people Jesus healed and how many thousands He fed but the gospels relate He raised only three from the dead (Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, and Lazarus). Is there something significant about that? Could it Jesus knew He wasn’t doing them any favor? Could it be once someone is with the Father, the last thing they want to do is leave?
Trust God not only for our daily bread and what is best for us but also for what is ahead that we do not see or know.
Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
2 For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die. Isaiah 57:1-2 (NLT)
Hmmmm. I never gave these verses much thought. The timing of going home to the Father is a point I would quickly admit I do not understand and would want the Father to make the decision because it is “’way above my pay scale.” As I grow older and consider I am closer now to going home, I rest in the assurance of my Father’s love. I have been given opportunities to work in His Kingdom here on earth and He has gifted me to serve Him through others. So I will continue to follow His plan and trust Him for everything that is to come. It makes for an un-troubled heart.
How Great Thou Art written by Carl Gustav Boberg & sung by Carrie Underwood