Sue was 96 years old, and was definitely ready to go home. About two weeks ago she told another friend that she was ready to "be with her son and her Savior." While she was sad to leave this world and all of us behind, she was looking forward to spending eternity with Jesus and her beloved son, Lynn, whom she lost six years ago.
The pastor at her funeral did a brilliant job of describing what Sue experienced in this life and what she is experiencing now after this life.
(I really wish I could have recorded exactly what the pastor said, but this was the best that I could do)
"Before we are born, we are unborn. We are simply children living inside of a world where we are warm, comfortable and have our every need provided for us. We love our little world. When we are ripped out of that place and into a new one, we protest and are upset, terrified of the unknown and unfamiliar. For babies, being born is dying to their previous world. But when they enter into this world they are welcomed by the people who love them the most and placed into the loving arms of their parents.
As we get older, we grow to love our new surroundings. We bond with other people and form relationships. We grow attached to the sights, sounds and smells of this world. We again fall in love with our world. But then as we get older someone tells us that we are soon going to die, and our life as we have always known it will soon be over. Our response is to get scared, to protest it or to get upset...
But as we die to this world we once again enter into a new one. We will once again be welcomed into new surroundings by those who love us most. We will be comforted by strong and loving arms. This time we will have every tear wiped from our eyes and there will no longer be any sadness. That is the place where we shall dwell forever with our family and friends and most of all with our loving Savior."
As I thought of this my tears of sadness turned to tears of joy. The pastor then said, "I bet Miss Sue took Jesus out dancing last night." Knowing her, she probably did! But I can honestly say I am happy for Sue - selfishly I wish she could still be here, but I truly know and understand that she is in a far better place. A place where I will once again see her someday.
2 Corinthians 5:1-9
"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God Himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee He has given us His Holy Spirit.
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please Him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged."