Since mid-March, life has changed – on so many levels, and in various ways.  We are facing unchartered territory.  Uncertainty seems to surround us. Now more than ever, encouragement is vital for believers as well as those who have not yet come to faith in Christ.  One specific area comes to mind – not only the value of human life but facing the death of a loved one.

As believers, we often find comfort in reading John 14.  However, the life application of truth presented in this rich passage can be a challenge, especially as we face the death of a family member or friend.

Having lost my father, husband, and most recently my mother, I too have found comfort in John 14.  I would like to share some thoughts with you that have been helpful to me …

My oldest son lives in Florida, the warm sunshine state with beautiful beaches and many opportunities to relax.  Among the many resorts, there are tents which serve as year-round shelters for the homeless population.

At first glance, being homeless in Florida does not appear to be much of a challenge.  A sleeping bag proves helpful during winter when temperatures can go as low as 40 degrees. Escaping the heat in summer is yet another challenge. Hunger, thirst, and health issues prevail. The reality – homelessness is harsh, regardless of location.

Suppose a homeless person, living in a tent in Florida, found a lottery ticket, winning 20 million dollars, but their prize stipulates that they move out of their tent.  No one can leave with them, and they are not permitted to return.   Their friends and/or family (who may or may not be living in the homeless community) are invited to join them at some point in the future.

The person living in poverty is heartbroken at the thought of leaving; however, continuing to live in this situation is impossible, so they leave and enter an entirely different community.

They are not hungry or thirsty, no longer living in extreme conditions or battered by raging winds and storms.  Now they live in a mansion and look forward to the day when their friends and family will join them.

As we grieve the loss of loved ones, scripture reminds us – this world is not our home. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.”  John 14:2-3

Until the Lord returns or calls us home, we live here in this world – in tents.  But one day we too will reside in a mansion the Lord has prepared for us.  Although your loved one is and will be missed beyond words, it is our prayer that you will find comfort in knowing that they are truly home, no longer living in this tent community.  We look forward to a great reunion day, and in that truth, we find the comfort to continue.