“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Last week was one of the most challenging weeks in my life as my siblings and I said our final earthly good bye to our father. Our father was a godly man. In the words of a friend: “He was passionate about having a personal faith in Jesus. He was gentle and courageous; he laughed often and loved lots, and his one main desire was to please the Lord instead of people.” He spent his life serving Christ and encouraging others to do the same.
Following the sacred moments of witnessing our father’s transition from this world to the next, my brother discovered these words, penned in my father’s handwriting only weeks before.
“Today I find myself caught between two worlds—the one in which my dear wife lives and the one in which my family and I live. I yearn to be with her and yet I don’t want to cut the bonds that bind us to one another here on earth. One day we shall all be gathered before our Father’s throne.
I dare not wish for that time to come swiftly until we have lived out our God-given lives here on earth, for there is such joy to be found in the time we have left with each other here on earth.
So what am I to do? It is to look forward with great anticipation to those heavenly days of living with Him and all the heavenly host while still thanking God for the blessings I have in the love and relationships with those who bless my life and whose lives I am able to bless while I am still here on earth.”
Donald Merrill (1920-2013)
Although I am donning the garments of grief during these days, I will cherish the memories and honor the legacy.
Father God, I know that your word promises that I will be reunited with my parents and other loved ones who have gone before me. In the meantime, I pray that I can live my life as a vessel for Your Holy Spirit. I pray that I will recognize and thank You for the daily blessings. I also pray that I will work to strengthen each relationship I have and be a blessing to others throughout my life. Amen