As I hugged Dave's wife beside the coffin... As I heard the words spoken by mutual friends remembering & honoring Dave... As I heard songs Dave had chosen to be sung by another dear friend of mine (named Dave also)...
I was reminded about the promises of heaven. I was reminded of my earthly father waiting at heaven's gate for a hug. And, I felt an affirmation in my spirit that I would one day share in this joy. My main goal in life is to honor God by living a life pointing others toward Christ. I want go to heaven -- bringing as many people with me as possible.
Dave fought a tough battle with cancer. With my father's battle with cancer in 2002, his body became a shell of what he'd been. Yet, Dad's hope remained to the end. Toward the end of Dave's battle, his body was worn. But, his hope was not diminished. It was strengthened by the relationship he had with God over the years & in those last days. A scripture that was shared yesterday resonates with my heart...
"And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us." Romans 8:23 NLT
As I drove home later in the afternoon, my co-pilot slept peacefully in her car seat in the back seat of DeeDee's little yellow car. It was the perfect time to take the long way home. Close to my home is a tiny graveyard with graves from the 1800's to the present day. I couldn't help but notice a fresh grave site along the north side of the graveyard on the river's edge. I drove in & snapped a few pictures. The lighting was gorgeous... and, the baby snored.
Because of my beliefs, graveyards have never been a fearful place for me. Only in the moments of losing a loved one have they been a place of mourning - but, only for a moment & only for those left behind. They've always been a place of peace and a place to celebrate people I've known or my parents & family knew. I spent about 40 minutes taking in the beauty yesterday. As I pulled out, I noticed a small marker on the side of a hill which reminded me of what I wrote yesterday. All night, all day... angels watching over us!
"Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have troubles or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?" Romans 8:35
"No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in creation will ever separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
Linking October 2013 with The Nesting Place
for the 31-day Challenge