from tears. Its just the way it is. I feel like I am always just three blinks away from crying. But truly, the Lord is sustaining me. God’s grace certainly fills blinks one and two, but is just as certainly found in blink three when the floodgates are opened.
We just returned from the cruise that Joy-Hope Foundation sent us on to help us heal. We had a great time together as a family. It was awesome to be out in the middle of the ocean and just see the vastness of God’s glory all around. We definitely enjoyed our time together. We talked about Susana at times, as we always do, and our hearts were heavy at times, as they always are. But, for the most part, we are able to move forward in the grace and goodness of God.
So, last night, being alone in my hotel room, it was the first time in over a week in which I was alone and had some down time. And the silence was overwhelming. The silence reminded me too much of the voice that I so longed to hear. And I got down on my knees to pray, and immediately I just started heaving sobs, crying out to the Lord telling Him how much I miss my little girl. It was a good cry. But oh how my heart still hurts.
I’m reading the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. It is the most amazing book about Heaven that I have ever read. it is the only book about Heaven that I have ever read. Anyway, it gives such a great, accurate, biblical portrait of Heaven, and when I read it, I get excited about the things that my little girl is currently experiencing. And I myself just yearn for the day that I too will be there. So, I find that when my heart hurts from missing my little girl, and I start to get really sad, I pick up the book and read another chapter. I learn about yet another fascinating and glorious truth about what my little girl is experiencing in Heaven, and my heart gets excited and I no longer feel so sad. Yes, I still am sad because I miss her like crazy, but I am not so sad that I cannot move forward with the things in life that the Lord has called me to. And I know that the reality is that she is not gone forever, but rather we are just temporarily separated. And I hold fast to the promises of God that one day we will be reunited in the presence of Jesus. And so, holding to that glorious and blessed truth, I press on.
My wife has shared with me some perspective that she has, and it really blows me away. I am so thankful for the faith in Jesus that she has been given. I’m thankful that God has given us each other to lean upon for strength and increased understanding. She truly is a gem. I love this perspective that she shared with me.
When she used to work in the corporate world, if she was having a hard day and it was still early in the day, rather than look at the clock and be discouraged that she still had seven hours before quitting time, she would instead break the time up into increments of 15 minutes so that it seemed closer to quitting time than it really was. So, with regards to our longing to see Susana again, whenever either one of us seems to be heavy of heart, we just look at each other and say, “fifteen minutes.” And it really is the right perspective to have. I mean, this is really just a matter of time, nothing else. We are absolutely certain that we will see our daughter again. It’s just a matter of time. Yes, fifteen minutes on this earth does still feel like an eternity, but it still is just a matter of time, nothing else. And in light of eternity that we will spend together in the presence of Jesus, this time apart will really seem to have only been fifteen minutes.
Another perspective that she shared is one about security. For the bible believing Christ follower, we know that not everybody is automatically bound for Heaven (sorry Rob Bell), but rather those who have trusted fully in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ and have surrendered their lives to Him. And it is the struggle, and often great fear, of a Christian parent that has a child or children that are not walking with the Lord, knowing that their life could be taken at any minute, and without Christ in that person’s life, their eternal fate is indeed tragic. And so, we are greatly comforted knowing that, though our little girl was taken from us at the tender age of four, her eternal security with Jesus is certain. She’s in…and nothing can ever change that.
She loved Jesus with all her heart, even at the young age of four. She knew the Lord. She was so excited ever since we first told her about Jesus and the love that He had for her. She was broken over her sins, as little as they might have appeared to be. She would do wrong, and when she did, she would cry and say sorry to Jesus. I’m telling you, this little girl knew her Savior. And so, the fact that she is forever secured with Him gives our hearts great comfort. We had two children. Our role was to disciple them and teach them the ways of Jesus so that they could know Him as Savior and Lord. We did our job and one of them is now in Heaven forever. She’s in. And now, we have the role to continue to raise up our other children in hopes that they too will trust in Jesus and follow Him all their lives. But it truly is a great comfort for us as parents to know with absolute certainty that one of our daughters is forever with Jesus and will be forever with us. Yes, that is a great perspective.
So, like it says in Thessolonians, we do not grieve like those without hope. Yes, we still grieve, but we have a hope above all hopes. We have a perspective that enables us to see death for the Christ follower for what it really is, a temporary separation. Our hope in Christ is enough to get us through. His great and glorious promises are real!
I really am always just three blinks away from tears, but between those three blinks, I am reminded and comforted by the glorious truths of God’s word. The tears are just a natural way for my natural heart to release my natural sadness. But the hope that I have in Christ shows me that one day, my tears will forever be wiped away, my heart will be filled with joy unspeakable, and I will forever rejoice in the presence of my Savior. But for now, it’s just fifteen more minutes.