What a gift we who believe in Jesus have been given. A gift that explains why we do not grieve as those who have no hope. For rather than being the end when our loved ones leave this earthly existence, it is a step into the presence of Almighty God.

Last night a dear friend, a magnanimous gentle and joy-filled man did just that. Fell asleep to this world and woke to his Savior’s face welcoming him into eternity.

{I wonder if whistling is allowed in heaven . . . if so, I imagine he is whistling praises alongside my granddaddy!}

Yes, we know where he is, but still we grieve, and grieve deeply. Tears flow. It hurts. Even though they live in hope, he will be missed profoundly by his family. I pray they will feel God’s presence wrapped around them and poured out through the love of dear friends.

Yes, his life came to a unexpected sudden end. Given the love he had poured out, the lives he had touched, and the God he lived for and shared, it was a life cut short. How much more good he could have done and lives he could have touched. But on the other hand, what an incredible gift he was to his family and to the myriad of those of us fortunate enough to know him. His legacy will live on for generations to come.

Truly we do not grieve as those who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. I Thessalonians 4:13-14

This I believe. Still I am compelled to pause and wonder . . . why then do we live at times as those who have no hope?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13