“I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life; and your huse will be my home as long as I live.” Psalm 23:6
Being in prison is hard, but being in prison and losing a loved one is even harder – not being able to say “goodbye” is a type of worldly suffering, but how would you like to live your life completely free from pain, problems, suffering, and death? Well guess what? Those of us who have a faith relationship with Christ will get to live that existence – it’s called Heaven.
Ask yourself a question: If you were living in a pain free, problem free, suffering free world, how anxious would you be for heaven? Therefore, one of the purposes of suffering and death is to make us long for Heaven. If we were always youthful, slim, good looking, healthy, wealthy, and wise how much would we actually look forward to God taking us home?
Yet, the more spiritually mature we become, the more beautiful Heaven is to us! Those who know God the best are those who long to be with Him the most. The apostle Paul speaks of our heavenly dwelling with longing and eager anticipation: “For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling.” (2 Cor. 5:1-2)
I will confess that I cannot say I long to be clothed with my heavenly dwelling, I do not pray, “Lord, take me now.” However, if He does, I’m ready to go. But I also will tell you that the more I find out about that incredible and amazing place, the more I want to be there with those who have preceded me. As with so many other things, it’s something I am working toward. I know there are many though, who have reached that place in their lives. And what has impelled them to that place? The sufferings of this world!
Suffering takes many forms. For some, the ultimate suffering is physical. For others, the ultimate suffering is emotional, and for a few, the ultimate suffering is spiritual, continuing to live in this sinful body apart from the God who saved them.
Whatever your idea of suffering may be, it is often that very suffering that may bring you to the place in your life where you can say, “Take me, Lord, I long to be with You at last.”
My grandfather, who died while I was serving time in prison, to me, is finally Home. I love you grandpa. No more suffering, for you are now in the arms of the Lord!