Friday, March 18, 2011

Heaven: A Prepared Place For Prepared People

 My Grandpa went on to be with the Lord this morning. He had been battling Alzheimer's for years and at the age of 87 left this life behind to enjoy his forever home. I am not sad in the sense of despair because I believe there are better things ahead than any we leave behind. I am only sad that I don't know how long I must wait to be reunited with him and my other loved ones who went on before him.

When experiencing the death of a loved one, we are faced with the reality that this life is not all there is. I believe that those who know Christ will go to Heaven not because it's a nice thought and it gives a sense of hope...but I have hope because I believe God's Word to be true. I don't believe it because it's comforting or palatable, I believe it because God Himself says this:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many mansions; if that were not so, I would have told you.  I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. (John 14:1-4)

If we look for truth, we may find comfort in the end; if we look for comfort we will not get comfort or truth only wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. I look to God for truth and in His truth I find hope.

For some it is difficult to understand this kind of faith. To those who have faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. This verse addresses our lack of full comprehension of God:

Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

I trust in the knowledge that some day all of God's mysteries will be revealed in HIS timing, not my own. Life on earth is just a snapshot in the full picture of our existence.

 Every one of us will eventually take our last breath and that is not said to frighten anyone but to encourage others to rely on good news that with our last breath on earth we will take our first breath in Heaven. There is comfort in knowing that we are only a breath away from true freedom and everlasting peace with our Saviour. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. My Grandpa prayed the sinner's prayer years ago to prepare him for today.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25) For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:12)

Here are a few photos of my Grandpa, Domingo Acosta. 

My Grandpa, My Grandma (also in Heaven) and My Papa

He was a deep sea fisherman for many years

My Grandpa and My Pappy - my angels

Four Generations - My Papa, Grandpa, Brother and Nephew

Enjoying one of his favourite past times. Being outdoors.

Here are a few of my favourite memories of my Grandpa:

He taught me how to salsa dance at age 10.
He put together my childhood dollhouse by hand right down to the very last shingle - a keepsake I still have.
When I was 12 he took a gold bracelet off of his wrist and told me he wanted me to have it. The way it was so spontaneous made it even more evident it was straight from the heart and so meaningful. Another keepsake I still have.
He compassionately loved and cared for his wife throughout years of her suffering with Parkinson's disease. He never left her side.
His famous quotes spoken with his Cuban/New Yorker accent: "Fuhgetaboutit" "So fah (far) so good" and "How tha hell do I know?"
The fact that he could eat an entire bag of honey drops and no one else I know could stand the nasty things! They were his absolute favourite. :)

He was a sweet, funny and lovable man. He taught me the definition of contentment and I'm pretty sure I developed my stubbornness from him too. :) I'm grateful for every moment I had with him in this life.

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