Why does God do the things that he does?
On this side of eternity we will never know why God does what he does in life. His plans are different than ours might be today. In fact we may never fully understand why God has chosen different paths of life for each of us. Deuteronomy 29:29 says the secret things belong to the Lord. Our faith in God leads us to trust him and honor him with the talents and place he has given to us. Isaiah says as the heavens are higher than the earth, so God’s thoughts are above our thoughts, Isaiah 55. We don’t know all the reasons why God has allowed sickness in this world or why he made some of us to be different than others. Gene Stallings, former coach of the University of Alabama football team had a son born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect named John Mark. Near the end of his career Stallings wrote a book about his life and career (Another Season: A Coach’s Story of Raising An Exceptional Son). In that book he says, “Looking back I would not change a thing because of the way my son caused everyone around him to grow and to see themselves. What I saw as a challenge for a few years in the beginning turned out to be a lifetime of blessing for me and for everyone who knew my son.”
What will we see in heaven?
I think right now of __________ in heaven. For many of us, we think of how heaven will be a wonderful place. Revelation 21:4 says it is a place with no more sorrow, no pain, no sin, and no dying. I want to live and preach in a way that gets myself, my family and all that hear me every Sunday to heaven. I look forward to heaven as an opportunity to see Jesus and the loved ones who have passed.
But heaven will be even sweeter for some people. There are those who have lived a much more difficult life than others; who will appreciate the freedom and peace of heaven more because of what they have endured. When we see __________ in heaven, she will look very different. Of course 1 John 3:2 tells us that our mortal minds cannot yet fathom exactly what our heavenly bodies will be like on that day. John tells us to be satisfied with the concept that we will look like Jesus. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15 that our mortal bodies will then be immortal and the corruptible will be changed to that which is incorruptible. But even though we don’t really have a clear picture of what it’s like on the other side of eternity, imagine with me if you will what it seems to be like today.
__________ has just walked into heaven. Imagine with me if you will as she meets her parents: __________ who passed away several years ago and her father, __________ who just passed last year. They won’t recognize her by her wheelchair because she no longer needs one. Her body has been healed. They won’t recognize her by her arms because now she has been made whole. How will they recognize her? I’m convinced they will pick her out of the crowd by her sweet spirit and her radiant smile. Those things which have for so long been partially hidden in a broken body are now clearly seen. Imagine the hugs, the celebration, and the joy that is occurring in heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:58 tells us concerning the resurrection: now that you know these things, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your labor is not in vain.” Let’s all be looking forward to that day when we greet one another at heaven’s gate.
Prayer: Thanking God for the memories each of us have of Sandy and asking the Lord for comfort in this time of mourning.