by Marilyn Ehle
â€œWhat we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see himâ€” and in seeing him, become like himâ€?.
1 John 3:2, (The Message)
A good friend of mine recently died after a long bout with cancer and an extended stay in a care facility. Strange as it may seem, when I heard the news of her death, my first reaction was, â€œHeaven will be no surprise for her. Sheâ€™s been living for years in the presence of Jesus.â€?
My last visit with Susanâ€”just two weeks before her deathâ€”was just like all my other visits. Her first question was about what God was doing in my life. Her face, now thin from the ravages of disease, was lit with a brilliant smile. Susanâ€™s work with international students through the years was continuing as she met twice weekly with one of the kitchen staff who wanted to improve her English. She spoke lovingly by phone every day with her mother whose confused mind was withering because of senile dementia. She asked if we could prayâ€”not for herself but for her patient, tired and loving husband. â€œThis is so hard for him,â€? she said.Â
When Susan stopped breathing the air of earth, I know she swelled with love at the sight of her Savior. She had been becoming like Him for a long time. Heaven wasnâ€™t really a surprise; she had lived its reality for years.
Father God, help me look longingly at you each day and live increasingly like you so that when I see you face to face, I will not be surprised, only overcome with joy.
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