This week the country remembers all of our brave warriors who have protected our country, and lost their lives.
We are and should be so grateful to these brave men and women.But here’s where I always get stuck…What should I say, if anything, to the families left behind, here on earth?I don’t want to bring up the memory, or remind them of their death and make the families feel sad.
I have always struggled with death.
I remember years ago, my mother-in-law saying she just wished Jesus would return sooner rather than later, and then declared, “It will be a GREAT day!”
The great day she was referring to: The day Jesus returns to earth and takes us all up with Him, to spend eternity at His feet, forever.
If I’m totally transparent, the idea scared me almost to death.
I’ve read about heaven in the passages of His Word, in books written by pastors and authors who have studied “things of heaven” far more than I.
While I really love the idea of spending eternity in the presence of Jesus…I wasn’t ready for eternity to start, yet.
Even when life here doesn’t make sense, I know earth.
I understand life on earth.
-I know exactly where on earth my kids and my grand baby live.
-I know the way to the store and I know how to order anything I want on-line, and have it delivered the same day.
-I know what size shoe I wear from each store that carries shoes.-I know how to navigate this place I call home.
-I have wonderful memories of the house we raised our children in.
Even the mini-van that I drove thousands of miles in, to so many of our children’s games, and events.
Of laughing our pants off when the horn got stuck on! Blaring like a siren the entire drive to the gas station to get it fixed. Or, in that same mini-van trying to get up a snow and ice covered hill, and sliding down…backwards!
I love knowing that my children rarely got away with anything mischievous or naughty.
We live in a tight community.
When our kids were in about 3rd grade through probably high-school, and they were doing something or going somewhere they weren’t supposed, if I didn’t catch them, someone from our community would, and I’d hear about it.
When I think over my 5 decades of life, I have way more wonderful memories than bad or sad ones.
Yet I have so many questions about what’s to come. Like: when we’re not on “familiar” earth any longer, and we’re in heaven, at the feet of Jesus, will we know where to get shoes?
Will we need or want shoes?
Will the horns on our cars get stuck?
Will we have cars?Will there be ice and snow on hills?
Will my children make snow angels, in the snow, if there is?
Will my husband come home from work everyday and kiss me hello?
These are just a few of the things I do know here on earth.
Good. Bad. Silly or indifferent, they are memorable.
I’m certain the families that have lost loved ones, hang onto and treasure the memories they have of their precious fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.
I imagine some days, the ache they feel, unable to spend the rest of their days, here on earth, in each other’s presence, can be all consuming.
I believe that is how it is for our LORD.
He has memories of EVERY single thing we’ve ever done.
He celebrates and remembers the prayers of husbands that love their wives well.
He applauds with a joyful heart, each time one of our children makes the decision to follow Him, because they watched how we lived out our love of His church.
He writes each name in A Book.
His heart aches when the decisions we make here on earth are difficult, trying or painful.
And yet…He doesn’t avoid the difficult. He always knows what to say and when to say it.
Jesus doesn’t mourn the temporary loss of one of His sheep.
He just gets ready for their return.
He never allows us to go through anything alone.
I believe it’s His desire that we remember.
Not get stuck in the past.
But remember the past.
If we don’t remember that you can’t go up ice covered, small hills, how will we know to avoid the big ones?
When we remember the times that we were dying of embarrassment, but laughing our pants off, at malfunctioning horns,
we are reminded of the help we received along the way.
Jesus didn’t shy away from the uncomfortable.
In fact, He dove right into the uncomfortable. Like a blaring, stuck horn on an old mini-van.
Announcing, “I am here.” and “With you always”.
So next time I’m uncomfortable…I’m going to remember.
I’ll remember that with every difficult memory, there floods in the memorial of who Christ is in my life.
Who Christ is in each of the men and women’s lives who loved Him.
He is here with me. He is there with you.
He is making our future home comfortable and familiar.
I bet He’ll remember to make a space for all of the shoes, that we may or may not need.