When the cold chill pain of losing my dad sets in, I immediately work to re-route my thoughts. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes not. There are times when only tears will do to wash away the sadness of his last days. At least this was how I had been thinking until it dawned on me today (as I sat working away my desk, Pandora radio plugged in to classic Christmas music) that I should be happy. Celebrating actually, for my Dad. This is his first Christmas in Heaven!
All along, while he was so sick and slipping away from us day by day, I leaned on my faith. I spent hours praying over my dad - for God to take him home. With dad, as his witness as he yet again recommitted his heart to Jesus. I know beyond the farthest shadow of a doubt that my Dad's in heaven.
In the grips of losing someone we love, it's easy to rest on the mere "notion" of Heaven. It gives us comfort to think, imagine a better place where our loved ones will be welcomed home and be set free from suffering and illness. But in reality, do we really "believe" in heaven? Why only rest on Heaven's promise at the most crucial moments?
In mourning my Dad, missing him and feeling bad that he's not here with me, I'm going to focus on where he is IS - Heaven. How could I possibly be sad for him when I know (as a child of God) the promise of Heaven and eternal life?
He's there, my Dad's there - in Heaven, at the most precious time of the calendar year. The most celebrated time in Heaven. Christ's birth. He's there for the party! And that's what this daughter is going to focus on in the days to come - my Dad, truly in heaven. Gosh, can you imagine?? Yay Dad! Yay God, for His mercy. His grace. For the promise of the cross. And for Heaven...free to all who believe. And my Dad did. I was his witness. That was his final gift to me, and the best one he ever gave.
Celebrate today, but don't forget to plan for tomorrow.