Earlier this week, my wife’s father abruptly graduated to glory following complications from surgery.
My father-in-law’s passing reminded me of how important the eternal perspective is, and why we are involved in frontier mission. There have been plenty of tears over the past few days. But yesterday when we were at the funeral home making plans, we were mostly filled with plenty of laughter – reminiscing about old stories and jokes and things her dad would have loved – to the point that the funeral director was honestly pleasantly surprised.
It was a reminder of how blessed we are because we know where her dad is. While we grieve the lost time, the separation, the wish it had gone differently, we know this is not the end, we know we will meet again, we are not desperate with fear staring into the abyss.
I will freely admit there have been times – as I’m sure is the case with all of us – that I have felt tinges of doubt and fear. But it is wonderful that when we face a finish line, when we are at our weakest, God’s strength and comfort and reassurance is there, surging in around us.
It is also a grim reminder of the billions who do not have the same comfort or knowledge, because no one has brought the euangelion – the Good News that death has been conquered, that eternal life is possible, that death will be swallowed up in victory and new spiritual bodies will inherit the kingdom. It is horrifying to contemplate a future apart from God, and just as horrifying to live in the paralyzing fear that results from not knowing what comes next.
While we grieve the separation of those that go on before, I want to continue to work hard to ensure many more come along to share eternity with us.
By Justin Long, Director of Global Research