Having lost four friends in November and early December, tears tumbled easily after receiving word that yet another friend died last week. It wasn’t totally unexpected, Denise had battled cancer for more than a year. But when we met for lunch two months ago, that battle was barely a blip in our conversation. Instead, she talked about “God’s kindness” in allowing her to travel to Portugal with her sister the previous month and how exceedingly grateful she was for her family.
While still trying to process the thought of her family navigating Christmas and life without her, it was the observation of another friend that brought comfort and perspective:
”Denise went home to be with the Love of her Life: JESUS.”
Denise loved the people God put in her life deeply, but it was her love for Him that drew others to Jesus. The thought of Denise and my other friends receiving the things promised so long ago, brings comfort and, yes, a joy-filled hope to my heart, mind and soul:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the former things have passed away.
And the One seated on the throne said,
‘BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.’”
The thought of tears no longer tumbling and death and separation no longer being a threat, are beyond my comprehension in this life. Yet we can have full confidence that, the God who can change even the hardest heart, will indeed do this.
Are you suffering the loss of a friend or loved one that makes it difficult to celebrate Christmas? Then I invite you to join me in celebrating the HOPE of heaven, won for us through faith in God’s only Son:
“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His Name,
He gave the right to become children of God—
children born not of natural descent,
nor of human decision or a husband’s will,
but born of God”
John 1:12, 13.
As we celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus, may we also look forward to the day when the tawdriness of this fallen world will be replaced by the goodness of our faithful Shepherd . . . Merry Christmas!
All to His Glory!