Recently I attended a memorial service for a friend’s wife who had died of cancer. The occasion was a celebration of her life and contributions to family, friends and the community, and her hope of being in heaven with her Lord.
During the service the pastor cited Psalm 116:15: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” The first time I heard that verse my reaction was, “What kind of sadist is God that He finds death to be ‘precious’?” However, I now regard that passage differently.
Think of a loved one you communicate with only by letter, e-mail or phone. Don’t you look forward to being face to face again, enjoying one another’s company? I believe it’s the same with God. He can talk to us through the Scriptures, and we can reach out to Him through prayer, but if He truly is everything the Bible says, being in His presence will be beyond words.
Or imagine an infant in the womb, comfortable and content, warm and well-fed. If it could choose remaining there or entering the world, it would respond, “I’ll just stay here, thank you!” But would you leave this world and return to the womb? I believe it will like that when we draw our final breath. Since this world is all we know, we cling to it, but when we step to “the other side of eternity,” I believe it will surpass our comprehension. “Blow our minds,” as they used to say in the ‘60s.
The Bible says, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).