“Mom, did your dad love God?”, Abigail asked as I put her to bed. “Yes, honey, I think he did”, I answer.
“Will I see him in heaven?”
“Yes, I think you will.”
“Good”, is all she says in response.
The next morning comes and Abigail is still thinking about my father. She asks again if she will see him in heaven. Again, I tell her yes. This is the easy answer. The real answer is too complicated for her little five year old heart to handle.
It has been almost 17 years since my father passed away. It shocks me to type that number. Is it really possible that I have lived almost half of my life without him? The reality is that I have lived without him even longer than that. For even when he was alive, he was not a constant presence in my life.
I wish that I had an assurance that I would see my father again someday. I think I will, I hope, I pray. I know that my father heard the message of salvation many times. He heard it from his mother, my mother and from preachers at church.
The Easter before he died, he attended a play at my high school. At the end of the performance, the pastor asked everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. He then asked those who wanted to accept Jesus as their savior to stand. I could not help it. I peaked. To my amazement my father was standing.
And this is what I hang on to. I don’t know what went on in his heart between him and God that evening. It is my prayer that he yielded his life to the Lord. I wish that I had been brave enough to ask him. I wish that my fear of making him upset with me was not greater than my desire to see him enter into the presence of God.
And maybe that is the lesson to be learned. We never know how much longer we are going to have with those that we love. Let us always be looking for opportunities to share the message of salvation. Let our fear of rejection not be greater than our desire to see our loved ones spend eternity in heaven.
Is there someone in your life who needs to hear the message of Christ’s gift of eternal life? Begin by praying for them and asking God to soften their hearts. Pray that opportunities to share will present themselves and that He will give you the words to say. Pray that when asked if you will see that person again someday, there will be no doubt or questioning, but rather complete assurance of where they stand before God.