Page 182 began early as I caught up on messages and emails from yesterday and spent some prayer time following up on yesterday’s prayer walk at camp. After a morning meeting/tech support/discussion, I settled in to do some more writing on my current devotional book project. I managed to write a few more of the daily devotions before heading out for a mid-afternoon lunch and then a trip to Dowagiac for a funeral visitation. After visiting with some of the Bontrager family and some members of the North Wayne congregation, we headed to Bremen for the Fireman’s Festival to take Susan on a couple rides. She loves the Ferris Wheel and Carousel and it is fun to see the joy she is filled with on these rides. After the fair rides and a quick stop at Subway for supper, we rounded out the day with a family walk along the Mishawaka Riverwalk.
By evening, the clouds had begun to gather and ranged from a collection of fluffy cotton ball clouds to a dense blanket of gray. Some days have an overcast feel to them that require us to press on in faith that Son continues to shine in our lives. One of the topics I wrote about today for the devotional book about our journey home, was about heaven being a home of rejoicing. It was a fitting devotion to write on a day that I visited with a family that was saying goodbye to a 94 year-old mother, grandmother, and friend. This dear lady has been ready to finish her journey home and has eagerly anticipated it over the past few weeks as her body weakened. At the church there was laughter and smiles from a family confident that the grave would not hold their loved one any more than it held Jesus. The knew that the weakness and frailty that had taken over the body has been replaced with a wholeness that is rejoicing around the throne of God. Yes, she will be missed by family and loved ones. I will miss her encouraging smile and words that thanked me for coming to preach every time I would share at the North Wayne Mennonite Church. Yet even while being missed, it will be with a confidence that we too can rejoice with her not only when we complete our journey, but also as we continue the journey.
I pray that you and I would daily spend time with God, listening and obeying. I pray that we would find comfort in knowing that those who are in Christ enter a home of rejoicing when they leave this world. I pray that we would make the most of each day that God gives us as an opportunity to encourage the people around us. I pray that we would learn to rejoice always even as we journey to our home with Christ.