Their faces were glowing. Their eyes smiled as they sang the words, “Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away. To a land on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away.” Bound by neck braces, wheel chairs, oxygen tanks, and walkers, the words of the song seemed to free them, if only for a moment. Heaven isn’t so far away for them; and they are ready to get there.
Not to say that I don’t want to get there. I mean, I do; I just don’t want to go there yet. I know that God promises a place of no more tears or pain and it will be a place of perfect peace for those who have put their trust in him. And as wonderful as that sounds, I still find myself asking God to wait. Wait and let me raise my kids. Wait and let me meet my grandchildren. Wait until I know that my family will be okay without me. I’m just not ready to leave them yet.
As I watched the aged faces singing along with us Wednesday night, I could honestly hear the desperate longing for heaven in their words. No more pain. No more sickness. No more tears. Just peace. Happiness. And being reunited with loved ones long since passed.
One day I will understand their longing. One day when my kids are older and most of my family is already up in heaven waiting on me, then I will understand. One day, as I mature in my walk with the Lord, I will understand the expressions I saw on the faces of those nursing home residents. And one day, just like many of them, I will walk through those pearly gates and meet my Master.
I hope we all can make that choice while here on earth to trust God with our lives; and one day, whether near or far away, we can meet one another up on the banks of God’s celestial shore.