"13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4
I have been concerned about my lack of thought regarding heaven, not to mention how confused I get when I try to think about how we'll live there, not only for a lifetime, but eternally...like, forever! It's a staggering thought for our small human minds to comprehend.
I love how Paul includes this dialogue about heaven while sympathizing with those who are grieving about death. One of my favourite parts is when he says, "and so we will be with the Lord forever." I know I don't understand how it will work, just yet, all I really need to know is that I will be with Him. For all of eternity!
One of the main reasons I was encouraged by this passage today was because I have been praying for God to give me a longing for heaven, and that I would be able to think about it more. I just picked Thessalonians this morning in what would seem a random matter, but God had everything planned long before time began.
I have been noticing all the small things that God orchestrates perfectly, that are not merely coincidence. Like how I had all the ingredients for a favourite fish chowder recipe, without previously planning it. Or how the plates that went underneath the bowls were still clean, and went right back into the cupboard. And how a favourite song came on the radio just as I turned on the car. And how the mornings and the evenings have been just cool enough to do the things that have to be done.
Our God is truly an awesome God!!!