“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Co. 2:9.
It was a Saturday night and we were going out with my sisters and their husbands. We met at a restaurant and ate wings up to our elbows. Everyone decided to return to our home to extend the evening. As we turned into our driveway we were met with cars lined down both sides to the house. It was the year of our 25th wedding anniversary, along with my sister and brother-in-law’s, and obviously the family had planned a surprise party for us. As the four of us approached the walkway, we were amazed at all the friends and family who lined our path. As I would embrace one person, I would see another person I couldn’t wait to get to. Once we were inside I walked around trying to absorb all of the beautiful decorations and prepared food. A video of our lives together documented all of the wonderful times shared and memories that made up a lifetime. It was a beautiful day filled with surprises, blessings and sincere gratitude of all that had been planned on our behalf by those who loved us.
I wonder if passing from earth to heaven is somewhat like that experience only expanded to measures of joy we have never known. I can see it now…
"I turn down that path and approach the walkway of eternal life. On my left are the friends and cousins who have gone before me sharing a secret smile of things we shared growing up. On my right were my precious in-laws, holding hands as if they had never been separated on earth, reaching out welcoming me for a second time. I glance over their shoulders only to see my four grandparents with their arms extended. I run into their arms and suddenly I am a child once more. When I pull away I look up and there she is…my little sister who we felt was gone way too soon on earth. She missed our anniversary party but wouldn’t miss this one for the world. Remembering that I have eternity to catch up I keep moving with joy I have never experienced before. Suddenly, my eyes lock with the eyes of the man whom God chose before my birth to carry me through my life. My embrace seemed like forever but isn’t that what it is all about? And then it happened…as I pulled away and lifted my eyes I saw Him and everyone disappeared. The joy I had just experienced failed in comparison with the joy that only He could make complete. It was the face I had longed to see and a love that only He could fulfill. He embraced me, offered His arm and escorted me through the party showing me all of the beautiful things He had been preparing for me. I had no idea and was astonished to see the fruition of my past experiences, and how He had worked them all for my benefit."
My imagination certainly runs wild this morning but one thing I know for sure... it will be a party like none other with a Host above all others.
“So with you: Now is your time of grief but I will see you again…and you will rejoice, and no one can take away your joy.” John 16:22.
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