Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you.
If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way where I am going.
“Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Before dying on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sins, Jesus comforted his disciples with the words listed above. He wanted them to know that heaven was real and that he was going there to prepare a special place for them.
The hours following these comforting words were filled with chaos and pain for the disciples, the ones Jesus loved. Pain and death seem to go hand in hand. As we move from this life to our heavenly life, there is usually pain involved in the dying process. The pain is not just limited to the one who is dying; the pain extends to those who will soon be parted from the one that they love. However, once a Christian dies, there is no more pain. There is only an abundance of joy. (Those left behind suffer, but the one who has died is freed from all suffering.)
For those who are dying, looking forward to heaven and all its grandeur can help ease the emotional pain during the transition period between dying and death. Instead of dreading the end of this life, some people begin looking forward to the next one with joy and anticipation. (This type of positive attitude is seen more often in elderly people. Younger people, especially those with children, may have a harder time with this type of attitude since they have so many duties yet to fulfill.)
This anticipation of heaven is seen very vividly in the life and death of a dear friend, Mr. Register. About a week ago, I was informed that Mr. Register was dying. When he went to the doctor, the doctor told him, “I have some bad news for you. You have about three months left to live.” Instead of being upset, he was thrilled. In fact, his granddaughter described him as being “giddy.” He was delighted that he would be able to see his wife again. She had died a number of years before him, and he was looking forward to seeing her again and going to heaven.
On Facebook today, I learned that he had been reunited with his wife. He had also been looking forward to meeting his Savior, Jesus Christ, but today that dream has become a reality. He looked at death through the eyes of John chapter 14. For many years, I have read this passage and have heard the words of Jesus reassuring me of a better place. This month I have seen firsthand someone whose faith in Jesus gave him comfort, peace, and even joy in the face of death. Thank you, Mr. Register, for your example to me.
I know that we will all be thrilled to be with ones we love when we die, but I wonder how important that will be then when compared to being in the presence of our Lord.
The song “Homesick” by Mercy Me.
- God Has a Different Perspective on Death (mainwriters.com)
- How to Have a Relationship with God (mainwriters.com)