These last few weeks have been hard. Gut wrenching in fact. I can count them as some of the hardest days that I have been through in my 50 years. And I have had some hard ones.
My precious father-in-law has been pretty sick since October. As his health began to go downhill over the last few months, we could see that the end of his life here on this earth was coming to a close. And about 8 days ago, he really took a turn that would indicate it was happening faster than any of us was ready for.
Jimbo and I spent the past 8 days camped out at their house, which is conveniently next door to us, right across the parking lot of our church. We decided that we needed to be there at all hours of the day and night - just spending time with his dad and keeping a close eye on his mother. I am so glad that we had the time with both of them that we did.
Thursday evening around 8:50 PM, my precious father-in-law drew his last breath here on earth and was immediately in presence of our Lord and King. I can just imagine what a homecoming he had in heaven as he stepped through those pearly gates! I bet there was some shoutin' going on as he saw his Savior face-to-face for the first time in 83 years!
You see, my husband's father was sure of his eternal home. There was no doubt at all, that when he had finished his life here, he had an eternal home already prepared for him in glory. My father-in-law was sure of his salvation. Sure of his relationship with his Lord. Sure of an eternity with Jesus.
What an amazing legacy he has left behind for his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. A faith in God truly lived out every day of his life. A personal and intimate relationship with his Lord that everyone who knew him could testify to.
He was more of daddy to me than a father-in-law. I lost my sweet daddy when I was 32 years old and Jimbo's dad always did his best to be there for me on Father's day and other holidays. He was always mindful of the hurt that I had in my heart from missing my daddy. He tried to fill in that gaping hole in my life that was left behind when my father went to be with Jesus at the young age of 58. And I will always love him and respect him for that.
As we are about to celebrate the Easter season, which is all about Jesus and nothing else, I can't help but think of Pawpaw's first Easter Sunday in heaven. He will be celebrating the resurrected Savior with the Savior who resurrected! How amazing is that!
So, tomorrow, as you go to church, don't forget about the cruel death that Jesus suffered on the cross. Don't forget about the fact that He gave up His life willingly for all who would believe on Him. And certainly don't forget that the tomb couldn't hold Him. That death couldn't keep Him. That just as He said He would, He arose on that 3rd day and is now in heaven with His Father. With our Father. Waiting for us to truly come home.
"He is not here; for He is risen,
as He said. Come, see the place
where the Lord lay"