By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist
When our youngest granddaughters were young, our son and his wife often returned to their home at night after visiting us. They dressed their little girls for bed, and after the good-bye hugs and kisses, they tucked their children in their “car” bed and drove the two hours home. Our granddaughters went to sleep quickly. Once at home, their daddy took them in his big strong arms and tenderly put them in their own beds.
The little girls didn’t awaken until morning. They found themselves “at home.” The first face they saw was their father who loved them more than they could ever know.
For the child of God, death is like that, going to sleep in the arms of angels who will carry you and me to that wonderful place called “home.” When we awaken we will see our “Father,” whose love for his children cannot be fathomed. We are the objects of his incredible love.
The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:52 we will all be changed … “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” Verse 55 further states: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (NIV)
We can take comfort in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 NIV)
Childlike faith is such a wondrous thing. When Cody, our grandson, was small, he loved hearing about Jesus and he wanted to go to heaven right then. His parents explained he would have to live his life first. He is grown and married now, but the faith remains.
I heard a story about an elderly man who had been diagnosed as terminal. Yet with every setback, he became so excited about seeing Jesus that he was healed. The doctors finally said, “If he ever dies, he will have to keep it a secret.”
The Christian life is a life of hope. Without hope, life is a miserable existence. We will soon be celebrating Resurrection Day. God’s sacrificial gift presses me to evaluate where I have been and where I am going. Each day is precious here, and each day is glorious where God is. I am moved to pray this prayer and maybe you will pray it, too:
“May I live just for today. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow I cannot see. Let me be quick to express my love to others. Help me to memorize my husband’s face, and may I never take his love for granted.
Guide me to find happiness in simple pleasures … the soft sound of snow crunching beneath my feet, the cooing of a dove and the welcome dripping of rain against my windowpane.
Help me, dear God, to minister your love to a lost and dying world. Hide me beneath your wings. Remove all pride and selfishness, I pray. Let others see your love manifested through me.
Teach me to number my days. Help me to make each moment count, for time is fleeting.
When the midnight hour of my life has ended, may I have run the race with patience. May I be found faithful, and may I have fought a good fight. May fear be far from me, and may I greet the dawn of glory breaking forth with singing and thanksgiving to you. May I behold your beauty and spend my days in endless praise to you my King, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Lord.
Thank you for the journey of life that leads to that “Wonderful Place Called Home!”
Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org