“We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8
When I found out my friend’s brother had passed away, also a friend of mine, I was in shock. I couldn’t really believe it. He was so young. Because I couldn’t wrap my mind around it, I also questioned Why him? Why not someone else I didn’t know? Why not somebody old and ready to go? I thought those terrible things, thinking selfishly instead of selflessly. Where did he go? I wondered. Was he sitting around, unable to wake up, waiting for the resurrection?
I had to ask someone who knew, someone who could direct me to the Scriptures. It was there that I realized that no, indeed, he wasn’t just sitting around waiting for Christ to come. In fact, he was already in Heaven. That was made clear when Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him that very day in paradise. Scripture pointed to a God who immediately accepted His children upon their death. I was comforted. What I had once seen as a curse to those on earth, perhaps even to him because he had lost out on a long life, I now saw to be a mercy, to be a blessing. To be able to stand face to face with God and enjoy in eternal delights, to be able to see the angels, to be free from sin, death, and sorrow, was to be blessed. I longed to see it for myself, realizing he had gotten to see something I had always wanted to see but still had to wait for it as I dwelt on earth. We who were grieving were the only ones suffering, not him.
Friend, are you grieving right now? Take comfort in the joy of knowing that your saved loved one is reveling in the splendor of the Lord, in His very presence, not in any type of pain or sorrow, just pure joy.
Comfort yourself with the truth of Scripture. Although Revelation is normally seen as a prophetically “scary” book, it contains many beautiful passages about what it’s like for believers to be in Heaven in the presence of the Lord.
Lord, please be with those who are mourning right now. Please reveal to them your great love during this time and give them strength to realize that sitting in Your presence is better than life. Amen.