And one day, we shall see Jesus smile
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” – Jesus
“It was a year ago today,” she says. “So I’m a year out now.”
I’m talking to my aunt. One year ago, she sustained two strokes only two or three days apart. Away from home in a motel bed, both times striking at night. While she slept.
She tells me all about it, describes the residual effects. “I feel like a drunk when I walk. It’s hard for me to walk straight,” she says. “And when I’m tired, my left foot drags.” At this, my heart squeezes a bit in my chest. It pains me somehow just to hear it. She’s weaker.
An uncle on the plains is suffering. The cancer, deadly foe, has riddled his bones, and the pain, monster like, is devouring.
One year ago now, his wife died. Heart worn out, body weak, Aunt Becky died and went to heaven. And saw Jesus smiling…in person. Their kids miss her terribly. They’re grieving her loss, and they’re bracing for what may come next.
Then came Saturday. A family birthday (mother-in-law). A family death. A sister-in-law has miscarried. Again.
Twice in the last six months, a baby has slipped from her womb and flown to heaven. And saw Jesus smiling…in person. Two brothers are grieving, and a mom and a dad. They really don’t know what comes next.
“I don’t know what God is trying to tell me.” The first time I heard this was in Sunday School class mere weeks ago. My lovely blonde friend took a blow to the head, and it’s left her with chronic pain and limitations. She can’t run. Her head aches. Life is different. She’s weaker.
“My sisters asked me what I think God is saying.” Liquid pain fills her eyes. “And I just don’t know what it is.”
Yet one more friend’s been buffeted and rocked. For the blows, they keep coming and coming. She says it, too, heart crying the question, “I don’t know what He’s trying to say.”
In the current political climate, fear’s running rampant. Even God’s children, those who claim His name, are feeling it. In the public square, many voices are shrill and alarming. And I wonder…
I wonder what the answer is for these pains that we feel; for the anguish of a dark, fallen world? So many hearts broken. So many in despair. So many faltering, tormented, afraid. What now?
Today, I remember that we were made for a different place. Another world. Another Ruler. A different Home. We’re strangers and pilgrims in this world. It’s not Eden.
No, it’s not Eden, and it never shall be. There will always be trouble and heartache down here. The very longings we have are the arrows, the signs that point to the place we were made for…
We were made for Heaven, and this is not it, though eternity’s been placed in our hearts. It’s hope’s promise.
Our hope is secure, it’s soul’s surest anchor, and Jesus the Christ’s overcome. He’s overcome, and He’s with us. Emmanuel is His name.
Emmanuel, for God is with us. Right here. Right now. In our trouble and pain. Emmanuel, this side of Eden.
And one day, we, too, shall see Him smiling. In person. Oh, happy day!
Photo Credit: Lovable Images