Blessed assurance Jesus is mine!
This moment marks three years ago that Jesus came for my daddy. As I have been remembering him and his last day, I am moved to share from my heart the hope that is within me!
Did you know there is a such a thing as "actively dying"? I didn't. Until I was told it was happening to my precious mother. Some eight years later, it was my dear daddy's turn. Thankfully, in the midst of their dying, there was no doubt Jesus was coming for them and they would spend eternity in His presence. As sad as it was for us to be losing them, we had and still have confidence and assurance that once they died, they were in that very instant with Jesus. What a comfort. But, let me be perfectly clear here. I didn't tell myself this to make their dying easier to handle. I didn't believe this because they did or because some preacher or Sunday School teacher told me so. Sure, it started out that way but then my heart starting wanting my own personal relationship with Jesus. Their Jesus became my Jesus. The Bible they read to me became the very words of God spoken to me. The hope within me was my own born from my own personal relationship with Jesus.
As a child, I remember my daddy reading Revelation 21-22 to me. I'm not sure how many times he read it to me, but I remember vividly the impact the description of the new heavens and the new earth had on me. My heart was filled with excitement, anticipation and yes, even longing. Certainly no fear of death. As wonderful as my childhood was, being with Jesus in the place described could not be topped! I was told Jesus would never leave or forsake me, that He was in heaven even then/now preparing a place just for me, and that absent from this body (death), present with the Lord. These truths (and more) from God's Word were expressions of a love even greater than the love my parents had for me and I wanted to know this Jesus as they knew Jesus. So, in Sunday School, when Revelation 3:20 was shared with me and later when my daddy would explain further, kneel and pray with me and ask me if I would open the door of my heart to Jesus my answer was "yes"! Jesus was my savior. He was mine and I was His. Forever.
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood."
Blessed Assurance by Frances J. Crosby
Losing my momma was so hard but God in His graciousness gave us 8 more years with daddy. But, this strong, independent man from the "great generation" found himself a widow, legally blind, battling cancer, multiple other physical conditions, and dependent upon his children and other precious caregivers. Yet, his faith in Jesus gave him a grit and joy for life that amazed us all (Dear Daddy). Once again, I found/find myself wanting what I saw him having with Jesus. On his last day of his life here on earth, laying in a nursing home bed, struggling and unresponsive, I read God's Word over him, including Revelation 21-22! Waiting for Jesus to come, I also played him his favorite hymn - "It is well with my soul". Of course, I reflected on his life of faith but the thing that really struck me that day was the reality that all he had was Jesus and Jesus was enough. From a human point of view, he'd suffered the loss of everything but he had gained more and more of Jesus. Beautiful. Learning that all we have is Jesus and Jesus is enough is one of the greatest gifts of this life and legacies we can leave.
Whatever you are facing today - joy, trials, suffering - even death, Jesus loves you and wants a very personal relationship with you. Think about all the good relationships you have and all that involves. Things like: talking heart to heart, getting to know each other intimately, doing things together - quality time! That's the kind of relationship Jesus wants with each one of us. Walk with Him, talk with Him. Know Him as intimately (through His Word) as He knows us. If this describes your relationship with Jesus then you have blessed assurance that when you breathe your last breath you will be present with Him. And, that while you are still here experiencing joy, trials, suffering - whatever...He will never leave you or forsake you. Before God spoke the world into existence He thought of you, planned for you. He knit you together in your mother's womb. He ordained your days before there was yet one of them. He sees, He knows, and He cares. Oh, glory!
On this day, I can think of no better way to honor my earthly daddy (parents) than to share the hope I have in Jesus. Thank you for letting me share. If your heart has been moved to know more, I encourage you to take the time to read the below words from God's heart to ours. May God capture your heart with His words and give you blessed assurance.