We are all on the same destination journey.
1 Corinthians 15:51-58
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
What if this photo was the Red Sea and you were to walk this with your family to escape slavery.
And what if this is part of the path to Heaven?
Today I was reading the Bible and found a verse I did not know. And this fits - all - the Fruits of the Spirit.
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
And we are - all -on the same exact journey. Every knee will bow, every tongue confess Jesus is Lord. And if you were on the path to the 12 Gates of Heaven. You would want to know as you got closer to the Wall like the Temple of Jerusalem, if the Gates are open - if you will find the Father running to you. If the welcome will be a warm one. A reunion.
And you wonder...
And on this journey, I will tell you about a beach vacation I took as a young bride with my father's best friend in High School and his wife.
Several years earlier - They had just moved to Dallas from Little Rock and my father's friend, Joe, had just arrived to visit with my dad. Who was gone - really - because he had just decided to get a divorce after 25 years of marriage - and run off with a long time friend of my parents. Sue and Joe would move my mother, literally, out of the family home and then change homes themselves to live a block from us - so my 10 year old brother would not be a terrified latch key child.
So years down the road, we are all vacationing in Padre Island. And Sue is gasping. Every now and then she is just gasping for air. We are asked not to ask. Eventually my mother, husband and I are all staring at Sue - we are paralyzed. Joe says, "Sue, you owe our friends the explanation." Joe had given me my first job in the Dallas World Trade Center. We all knew each other as one block away neighbors. Sue said, "I'm having heart palpitations." Being 23, I said do we need to call a hospital or 911? I was very worried and so was Edward and so was my mother. Joe said, "No, she has been to the doctor and this comes and goes." I asked if it was bad today. Sue had a hard time answering. Finally she said, "Yes." And she said she would talk in a minute when she could get her breathe.
About 20 minutes later, Sue said, "I used controlled breathing. I hold my breathe and then my electric impulses renew the rythme."
We did not even know what to say. So we said that. Sue finally got her breathe and we waited. She said, " I will not panic. I will not fear. I will not take so many, many medications. I will simply say my life, this world, all we do - is in the hands of God. I will let God be my rhythm. I will not be scared into over reacting. I will exercise I will be calm. I will renew."
Well being the people we are, eventually my mother, Edward and I huddled up to discuss this away from our friends. And we were 23 and 25 - this seemed very damned serious and cavalier. I'm sure I seemed uptight. Edward had questions. My mother finally said, hand up, "Sue is not a foolish woman. Neither is Joe a foolish man. They know what they are doing. Just give them a nice weekend here."
And we did and as we visited Sue was fine. An hour or more later, she was apparently well. They had moved to the Harlingen area and we saw them about a year later at the beach. I asked Sue if she was well. She was puzzled. Yes. I asked again. She said, "What do you mean?" I looked at her and shook my head. She inquired again. I said, "If you don't want to talk about that, I will hush." "Well, Anne -Laurel, dear, what are you talking about?" "Your heart palpitations." She smiled and said, "Oh all that is over."
She was right. She is in her eighties and does well.
Amazing what Trusting God will do.
So, when we get ready to storm the City of God. And with bold confidence in Jesus Christ covering us as our righteousness, we will want - to find Father God really eager to see us. And the gates, all 12, Open.
We are really, all of us, on an incredible journey. We are going to present our souls - to - GOD.
We are invited to the Feast of Feasts. The new Heaven Jesus gave life and blood, pain and suffering, to purchase our righteousness to be able to invite us to the Feast of the Righteous - Eternally.
Abba, our Father,
Oh we want to be one in that number - with our loved ones and the people we pray for - You have Given us.
One of the Multitude - When the Saints Go Marching In.
We will proclaim! We Know our Salvation! Jesus is Lord God Almighty and we adore Him! Amen!
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †