Growing older. Aging. We laugh about it, and we groan about it. We resist it, but we can't stop it. And with the chuckles and wrinkles come some serious thoughts and questions about what happens when we die. Is death when we go to sleep? Or is death when we finally wake up?

Several years ago, I remember my young daughters falling asleep on the floor at bedtime. I would pick them up, carry them up the stairs and put them in their beds. Why? I knew it was time for them to rest, and I knew that rest was better up there than down here.

Doesn't God do the same? Doesn't he, knowing more than we, carry us to the place of rest he created? For God, death is no tragedy. In God's economy, the termination of the body is the beginning of life.

Can you imagine if one of the sisters objected to my decision to carry her upstairs? "Don't take her. We'll miss her. Please keep her here so we will all be together." How would I answer? "Oh, but she'll rest so much better in the room I have prepared for her. Besides, you'll be coming up yourselves soon."

By calling us home, God is doing what any father would do. He is providing a better place to rest. A place he has "prepared for us." Heaven is not mass-produced; it is tailor-made.

By the way, I've often thought it curious how few people Jesus raised from the dead. He healed hundreds and fed thousands, but as far as we know he only raised three: the daughter of Jairus, the boy near Nain, and Lazarus. Why so few? Could it be because he knew he'd be doing them no favors? Could it be because he couldn't get any volunteers? Could it be that once someone is there, the last place they want to return to is here?

We must trust God. We must trust not only that he does what is best but that he knows what is ahead.

The problem with this world is that it doesn't fit. Oh, it will do for now, but it isn't tailor-made. We were made to live with God, but on earth we live by faith. We were made to live forever, but on this earth we live but for a moment. We were made to live holy lives, but this world is stained by sin.

Trust that this world wears like a borrowed shirt. Heaven, however, will fit like one tailor-made.

From A Gentle Thunder
Copyright 1995 Max Lucado
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