And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
~Revelation 21:3-4 ESV
Have you ever had a life-defining moment? An experience that not only changes you, but the lives of those around you? If you have, can you remember that precise moment when the seconds seemed to stop as you anticipated what would happen next? One of those moments for me occurred on February 7, 1993, but before I share that with you, let me give you some context into the story.
My Father had several health issues leading up to February 7, 1993. The list included diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, which led up to by-pass surgery in 1991. Within that period, our family had several scares as Dad was rushed to the hospital by the paramedics. Each time we feared the worst, but each time we would find Dad sitting in the bed in the emergency room with a big smile on his face. I have to admit after several times of rushing to the hospital, I started to get complacent as I was sure Dad would be okay.
February 7, 1993, was the day I would experience the life-defining moment as the telephone rang at 1:30 in the early morning. It was my sister. She was at the hospital telling me Dad was in the emergency room. I told her I was coming and hung up the phone. Unfortunately, I drifted back to sleep. I was awakened again by the phone and got dressed. I thought for sure when I got there, Dad would be sitting in his bed and smiling like he always had in the past. As I entered the Emergency department, my sister informed me Dad had just passed away a few minutes ago. I was numb. The shock of seeing Dad’s lifeless body made me know this was real. After staying with Mom and my sister, I went back home.
As I entered my house and walked up the stairs to my children’s bedroom, I looked at their peaceful expressions as they slept. Christa was six years old and John was three at the time of their grandfather’s death. I tasted salt from the tears tracing a trail down my cheeks. I wished I could just stop time and spare them the news about their papa. I composed myself and woke my sleeping angels, and told them what happened. I held them tight as they cried. Their crying turned into soft sobbing, and I found myself, as their Father, wishing I could fix this for them and save them from the heartbreak, but I could not. The only way we got through this was to lean on our Heavenly Father to comfort us. Only He could ease this heartbreak.
My question for you is, what pain, sorrow, heartbreak, or disappointment are you going through today? These life-defining moments you are facing now God already knew about, and He understood, so let me encourage you with three Scriptures:
- In the Gospel of John 11:35 ESV, we read two simple but profound words, “Jesus wept.” What does this mean for us? Jesus felt the pain and sorrow back then, and he feels our emotions today.
- In Hebrews 13:8 ESV, we read, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Jesus will never change the way He feels about us. He is constant, immovable, steadfast, and He is the same Lord of creation He has been and always will be.
- In Revelation 21:3-4 ESV, we read, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’” Jesus is preparing a home for us right now, and one day we will be with him forever. This home is temporary for all of us, and our vessels of flesh will pass away, but as believers, we will be with Jesus forever, and in eternity we will see Him through unveiled eyes. Dad now sees the Lord of Glory face-to-face. One day, our family will have the privilege of joining Dad, and we will see Jesus too, in His majesty and splendor.
Share a life-defining moment.
Lord Jesus, I know no matter I go through, You are with me. I ask for You to direct me with Your Holy Spirit as I walk by faith and not by sight. In my life-defining moments, I choose to receive Your perfect peace. I look forward to Your coming, when the sadness of this world will be no more. Amen
Copyright 2020: Life’s Defining Moments : Author Ed Chappelle: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Ed Chappelle is the Founder/Administrator/Lead Writer for Come to the Table Facebook ministry, a place where people of faith are encouraged to connect with others and share testimonies, articles, and prayer needs. He is an ordained minister.
Ed is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More. He is a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
Some people say Ed’s genealogy can be traced to Noah. Ed and his wife Kym are known for their animal rescue ministry, Critter Care. Their “family” includes dogs, cats, birds, a guinea pigs, sugar sliders, ferrets, geckos, bearded dragons, tropical fish, and a plethora of God’s creatures.
Ed served in the United States Air Force for over four years, earning the rank of Sergeant. He was eight years old when Apollo 11 went to the moon. His love for his country, the armed forces, and space exploration compelled him to write the popular tribute, Man on the Moon.
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