Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
Today is my niece’s 3rd birthday. It is also the three year anniversary of her death. We waited the long nine months to see her little smile and hold her in our arms. We did get to hold her, but she passed into the next life before she ever learned to smile.
I remember holding her in my arms and being amazed at the warmth of her little body. I looked at her and it was as if she was simply sleeping. The words of Jesus were stirring in my heart and mind as I remember him telling another father, “Do not weep. She is only sleeping”.
It is hard to comprehend that baby Claire is only asleep in this world. We saw them take her away. We saw them lay her in a little casket. And we saw her lowered into the ground. But she is only sleeping.
Today, her soul is with Jesus in heaven. She is laughing and playing and she knows how to smile. She has no pain or tears or cares of THIS world. One day her sleeping body will be awakened at the sound of the last trumpet. Her soul and body will be reunited, and most importantly we will be reunited with her.
It seems some days to be so far away. The day Christ returns to bring final victory over death seems to be light years away. But it will come. It will come in the blink of an eye. This life will be no more and we will live together with Him for all eternity.
In the meantime, we learn to laugh and smile all over again. We learn to live ours lives in the context of blessings and curses; the good and the bad; the certain and the mysterious. In the meantime, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We keep one eye on this world and one eye fixed on the sky waiting for His return when all will be made right again and we will see our loved one face to face!
Keep fighting the good fight of faith!