Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Hope of Heaven~

Have you ever seen the hope of Heaven?
I did.
Last night.
But, for you to see it, too, you have to go back to here:

I find myself seated in a pew at the funeral of a four month old. From the angle where I sit, I can see the tiny casket resting atop a green and yellow striped baby afghan.

And, I listen.
And, wonder.
And make myself face this question head on.

"Do I really have faith?"

As the lady seated in front of me wipes a tear from her eye, I wipe a continuous stream of them from my own. Pew after pew, eye after eye. It seems no one here is untouched by this heartbreaking loss.

"Faith isn't faith until it is tested. It is in times like this that we stand on our faith and it carries us through. It is in times like this that we discover the kind of faith we have."

The words of the minister reach deep into my soul. I can hardly stand the pain I feel seated in this place, in this moment. It is overwhelming, suffocating, too much. My eyes keep veering right and then left; any direction except straight ahead at the reality before us and the reason we are here.

And, I think of this precious mother, this broken father, these young sisters and tiny brother.

To suffer such loss.
To bury one so tiny, so helpless, so innocent.
To love God in spite of and in the midst of.
To believe without a doubt that God is good all the time,
even in times like this.


Do I have it?

Or am I simply spoiled by the goodness of the Lord?

My life has been an easy one.
God's blessings have been abundant. Sorrows, few.
It's easy to have faith when all is well, life is happy, "God is good."

But, what about when God's goodness is disguised in heartbreak?

What about the times when everything falls apart and nothing makes sense? What do we do with our God when our God allows something into our life that pulls the rug of our heart right out from underneath us? What do we do when our foundation shakes so violently we find ourselves grappling to keep our footing.......and our faith?

And, I wonder.
And, I hear God's Spirit asking me the hardest question of all:
Do you trust me?

And, the only answer I know,
the only answer I can give,
the only cry of my heart is this:

"Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
~ Mark 9:24

Last night, on the second birthday of this tiny infant,
I saw the hope of Heaven shining bright in this momma's eyes.
I heard the hope of Heaven loud and clear in this momma's words.

"Everyone wanted to stay home and mope around today. Nobody wanted to smile or be happy. Everyone just wanted to be sad. So, I called a family meeting. I sat everyone down and I reminded them. This is a day of rejoicing,this is a day to celebrate the gift we were given, this is a day to be extremely happy. No moping around. No sitting around crying. Rejoicing and celebrating that we were given such a precious boy and rejoicing and celebrating that we will see him again."

As this precious young mother stood beside me,
I looked deep in her eyes, and I saw it:
the unmistakable, undeniable, inconceivable hope of heaven.

And, it was breathtakingly beautiful.~♥

If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world. But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. For just as death came by means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man. For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ.
~ I Corinthians 15:18-22

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