I am happy to report that this weekend went much better as far as the random and extreme emotional responses to the endless memories of life with my wife Piper who passed into glory a couple of months ago. That’s not too say that there weren’t times when I was overcome with grief as a special remembrance or thought suddenly sprung up in my mind! But as a whole, it was a little easier for me and I am thankful for that!
Late yesterday afternoon I found myself jumping up from the La-Z-Boy recliner in the corner next to the east window in our living room, as I read a portion of scripture in Revelation chapter four where the Apostle John describes the throne room of heaven. I had been reading in the book “Life After Death, rediscovering life after the loss of a loved one” by Reverend Tony Cooke who was for many years, the Senior Assistant Pastor at Rhema Bible Church in Oklahoma as well as an instructor at the Bible College there, which I attended.
I had forgotten that the book was part of the curriculum at school but was reacquainted with it as I was going through the shelves in our library in the study a few weeks back. Since then I dove into its contents with great hunger as I was pleased to find a book on the grieving process written by someone in our own denomination. I am not totally sure why that was important to me, but just like my great desire to attend our world renown Bible College in order to hear the message of faith that Piper and I literally grew up with since we were in our early twenties directly from the source, I wanted to read about grief from a source I was familiar with and trust.
And I can say without hesitation, I have not been disappointed! In the second part of the book the author discusses from a Biblical standpoint, such subjects as “The Origin of Death, What Happens When We Die, Freedom from Fear of Death, and Heaven: The Believer’s Hope.” It was in the chapters about heaven and “What Will We Experience in Heaven” that I came across the descriptions in the book of Revelation.
As I began to read through the list of the amazing sights that we will see in heaven, I couldn’t help but turn to my right and look at a picture of Piper that I taped on the home entertainment cabinet next to me and could only exclaim, “WOW!” Then in between the tears that suddenly began to freely flow, I stammered out the rest of my thought declaring: YOU’RE THERE… RIGHT NOW… IN THE MIDST OF ALL THAT… SPLENDOR AND GLORY…WOW! WOW! WOW!
I’m pretty sure that I must have looked like an idiot as I sprung up from my seat while shouting and singing praises to God… but mostly being overwhelmed by the vivid picture of my once totally debilitated wife who was but a shadow of her former self in her last days on this earth, whose current picture I adamantly refused to display over the internet as I wanted everyone who knew her to always remember who she WAS and not be overcome with self-pity for her when they took notice of what that terrible disease had done to her… That Piper was NOW - TOTALLY HEALED AND WHOLE and I’m pretty positive, looking WAY BETTER than even the picture on the side of the piece of furniture that was taken in what I consider her prime physical years in the late 1990’s.
I mean… think about it. What is she looking at on a daily basis now? Let’s see there’s:
· The Throne of Almighty God “and behold, a throne was set in heaven (and One sitting on the throne) similar in appearance to a jasper and sardius stone, and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” Revelation 4:2-3 (EMTV)
· The Book of Life
· The Magnificent Creatures Who Worship God Perpetually
· The 24 Elders
· The Redeemed – Those saved Through God’s Mercy
· The Holy Angels
· And the awe-striking descriptions of God’s throne, “brilliant as gemstones-jasper and carnelian,” the glow of emerald circling the throne like a rainbow, the crystal sea of glass, the sea and fire and all that beautiful music and singing 24/7!*
Okay… I will officially go on record saying that I am jealous of my wife… and although I GREATLY and PAINFULLY miss her with every fiber of my being… I CAN”T HELP but rejoice, cry and be glad… all at the same time for her! After all she gave in this life and after all she went through in the latter years of her life… I can’t think of anyone who deserves what she is now eternally experiencing!
And yeah… I know inside that I’ll be okay… eventually… even though I am currently having a very difficult time understanding how. What I do understand though, is that I just need to do what Piper and I did for the entire 48 years of our relationship… and that is to “Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (God’s Word©)
I’ve learned in life… and especially now, that there are many times when my TRUST levels have to highly exceed my levels of UNDERSTANDING… you know what I mean?
But in the meantime… I’ll keep picturing my lovely wife walking through the golden streets of heaven with a perpetual smile on her face (somethings never change!) and a skip of joy in her step as she enjoys and participates in the daily glories around God’s throne!
Have a great THANKSIVING week everyone! And as you do, say with me… “I am fully expecting to TRUST in the Lord and rejoice with thoughts of what it will be like in heaven with Him!”
*For further details of heaven's splendor read: Revelation chapters 4,5,7,14,15, 19-22