Revelation 21:4, And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
I just received word a few hours ago that my aunt, who has already had one surgery for cancer and has been hospitalized for the last four months, has more cancer and it has spread and she is at Stage 4, which simply put means she will more than likely be going to heaven soon!
What did I do when I got the news? I cried!
It’s what I did when my father was murdered. I cried!
It’s what I did when my nephew was born with a bad liver and had to have a liver transplant before his first birthday. I cried!
It’s what I did when my 13-year old nephew was hit by a car in front of his church building and and ushered into eternity. I cried!
It’s what I did when my mother died of cancer. I cried!
It’s what I did when I found out my daughter’s eldest child, lil Hannah, was diagnosed with autism. I cried!
It’s what I did when my younger sister died in her sleep a few years before turning 50. I cried!
It’s what I have done, as have you, many times when the burdens of life become too heavy. Those times when we think to ourselves, this must be a dream, a bad dream!
It’s what I did when my brother, Pastor Joe, was hospitalized on October 3, 2013. I cried! And continue to cry many times today when I visit him in his present state.
I cry! And, to be honest with you, sometimes I cry uncontrollably.
Maybe that’s where you are right now. Perhaps the tears have been flowing. Possibly you find that you cannot control yourself as the tears flow. And perhaps you have felt like quitting. Perhaps your dreams— your marriage, career, or ambitions— have crumbled. Perhaps you’ve become cynical or have lost hope. We have all been there and done that. And if not, we will sometime this side of eternity. I am reminded of the story below, found in a book about heaven:
In 1952, young Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, determined to swim to the shore of mainland California. She’d already been the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways. The weather was foggy and chilly; she could hardly see the boats accompanying her. Still, she swam for fifteen hours. When she begged to be taken out of the water along the way, her mother, in a boat alongside, told her she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn’t until she was on the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away. At a news conference the next day she said, “All I could see was the fog. . . . I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.” 11 Consider her words: “I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.” For believers, that shore is Jesus and being with him in the place that he promised to prepare for us, where we will live with him forever. … If we can see through the fog and picture our eternal home in our mind’s eye, it will comfort and energize us.
On this side of eternity, there will be many tears to shed for all of us. We live in a sin-sick world. Poverty and pain often rule the day. Yet, I thank God for the promise that one day He will wipe away all of our tears. There will be no more sorrow. No more pain. No more death. And no more crying!
Until that day comes and while I am shedding those tears, I will hang on to the promise of a better day coming and realize that God is using these things for His glory and for my good!
“God uses suffering and impending death to unfasten us from this earth and to set our minds on what lies beyond.”