Bringing Heaven Closer.

I lost a special friend to cancer this week. Ok, she is not lost, as I know full well she is with her Saviour and happier than she ever was on this earth. But for me she is gone and I already miss her.

Helen was a few years older than me and still we became very close. Both Scottish, both nurses and both believers we had a lot in common, yet we only knew each other for about 12 years. Helen was the mission secretary for her church and there began the contact. She was a happy, bubbly person who oozed the love she had for the Lord to everyone she met.  She was capable, practical and totally efficient, yet could be thrilled at the smallest blessing and delighted by any touch from the Lord. She prayed, expected answers from the Lord, and was thrilled to hear of how He worked it out!

Helen battled her cancer in the best of ways, doing all she could to live, but also looking forward to the Lord taking her home, if it was His will. Even in her last days she struggled to write a letter, sending me the information about missions etc that she always sent. She had a great birthday two weeks before she died with many of those she loved around her, then put all her affairs in order and finished well!!!

John 16:33 says “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” God never gives us grace for tomorrow, but for the moment we are going through right now. Helen was “of good cheer” even when being seemingly defeated by her cancer. She knew her victory was in total dependence on Christ. It was a lesson to me to see one who, in herself was so capable and efficient, be so totally reliant on God for every moment, accepting His will as Perfect.

Max Lucado writes, “Do you see Jesus in your clouds? Rev 1:7, Behold He is coming with clouds… Clouds are a sign that God is there, …..Sorrow, bereavement and suffering are actually the clouds that come along with God!”

We don”t often see it that way. Yes, we see the clouds of bereavement and sadness but don”t realize that God is revealing Himself to us through them and strengthening our faith. He gives us greater assurance that Heaven is ahead and He has the way ahead prepared for us. As the clouds pass over, we are left with the sweet memories of our loved ones and even this sad experience serves to assure us that the life ahead is so much more satisfying. That is the one side of it all.

The other side is a reminder of our great responsibility. We realize how short the time is and how many do not have that assurance. We are the only ones who can tell them about our Saviour Jesus Christ who loved enough to die for them and lives to make them ready for Heaven and Home. No other god or religion offers such assurance, such a future or such a pension scheme. We have this treasure, worth more than life, let us share it, until we meet with these loved ones again and rejoice together over all He has done.

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