It would have been my dad’s 91st birthday, eight years after he had moved on to heaven. As I thought about him that morning, I realized it was no longer sadness I felt, but anticipation of being with him again – in heaven. It wasn’t the first time for that thought, but where it took me was so much better than what I had glimpsed before.
I used to imagine the two of us catching up on what we’ve done since he moved on. What an earthly view that was. Even in the best of times here, there is some sort of pain involved – whether emotional or physical, great or small – because we are still in the flesh. How much better the heavenly view! This time, the only communication between my dad and me was the almost tangible love of Christ between us and around us. It was, essentially, the air we breathed, and it required no words. There was no comparison between the love we shared on earth and this greater, more all-consuming love of Christ.
With a slight turn of attention, I experienced that same love, unhindered by anything mortal, surrounding my mother and filling the space between the two of us, as well. Despite all the struggles in our earthly relationship, the love of Christ connecting us in heaven was of the same magnitude for her as for my father. All earthly walls between us were non-existent, and only Christ and His love remained. What a joyous reunion!
As if that wasn’t enough, I then became aware of His love surrounding and connecting me with others in the body of Christ for whom I have not felt love on earth (understatement :-)) – where I have chosen to focus on differences of opinion, personality, etc. In heaven, these differences are actually appreciated, not simply tolerated, because each difference reveals another aspect of Jesus we would not otherwise see.
When this “visit” ended, eager anticipation remained, though it was no longer aimed at joining my earthly dad in heaven. Now it was to experience the love of Christ for all my brothers and sisters still on earth. I don’t want to wait until heaven. Fallen flesh may work against me to hinder, but greater is He Who is in me than the flesh in which I currently live!
With boldness and confidence in Jesus Christ, I pray the following verses for myself (and for you), knowing He will bring it to pass. I don’t need to know how or how long it will take, because I know Who!
Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.