The “72” followers of Jesus have just returned from a successful missionary endeavor where Jesus told them to enter a town, then “Heal the sick in it and say to them ‘the kingdom of God has come near to you.'” Luke 10:9
They “returned with joy saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.'” Luke 10:17
To which Jesus responded, “… do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” vs. 20
Three years ago today, my husband joined Jesus in paradise. He stepped out of his ravaged body and into the arms of His Savior.
His nurse told me that his last words before passing out were these, “The world is a dark place,” and indeed it is, compared to the light of being in the presence of the Son. At that moment, I think my husband’s spirit left his body to join Jesus.
I rejoice that my husband’s name was written in heaven!
And so was he, and so he is.
My friends were so kind and tender to reach out to me with concern and prayers today. However, though I celebrated my birthday two days ago (there’s a blog on that day here), I wasn’t as happy as I am today.
Of course I miss my husband’s company, but he had such hard life at the end, I often think of how filled with joy he is now, worshipping before the throne with all the saints.
After my husband died, I regretted a few things we never got to do or things I said or ways I acted, but, then, I realized he has NO REGRETS at all! He’s up there happy as a clam, rejoicing that his name was written in heaven. So, I learn from the past and move on – and find someone else with whom to do the things we didn’t do – like my girls.
Even though Hebrews 12:1 says a cloud of witnesses surrounds us – I think they are far too focused on Jesus to pay much attention to us. Maybe instead of observing us, they are witnesses TO us of God’s faithfulness (as some commentaries say).
My at-home daughter and I went to our husband and dad’s columbarium and laid roses on it while the daughter at college joined us via Facetime. I prayed thanksgiving for all our dad and husband did in our lives, shed some tears, and left.
And even as we drove away from the cemetery, I remarked to our daughter just how happy daddy is right now.
Rejoicing that his name was written in heaven.
Dear Lord: I know DH is so happy right now. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t long more for heaven because it will be fantastic to be with you. As Paul said, “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Philippians 1:23. Please help me to long more for your presence and to rejoice more each day that my name is written in heaven. Amen.