“I’ll see you in heaven!” Those are typically my last words to people on the final day of our conference because I know there’s virtually no chance I’ll ever see them again in this life. There are way too many places to have new pastor’s conferences for us to return to the same area. There are a very few places to which we return. At those places the friendships are deep and strong.
“I’ll see you in heaven!” are solemn words, not just something said lightly or in passing. I mean them 100%. It’s surprising how close I can get to some of these people after two days of opening our hearts to each other. Being in the same family, having the same Father (God) and Elder Brother (Jesus), brings an immediate, deep oneness that only believers can experience. Truly we are like long-lost family members just discovering each other for the first time.
I have never liked good-byes of any form. I really detest them, but it seems life is full of them – way too full! “See you later,” sounds much better than “I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again.” These people I know I will see again, just not in this life. And that helps mitigate the difficulty of leaving people I have just met and bonded with.
I do find comfort – no, what I find is great joy, in knowing I truly will meet these people in heaven when we can talk without a translator or time limit. We can share the glories of Jesus and what He has done in our lives. I see that as a real side benefit of being involved in this ministry. There are multiple hundreds of people I meet here but don’t get to talk with until I get to heaven. Its one more thing I look forward to after this life. Imagine the large family you and I have in heaven! Everyone will be a brother or sister, every single person. And imagine the bonding and oneness we’ll have with each other then! (January 20, 2016 Hyderabad, India)
“When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!”
Write down a list of the people you will know in heaven. Include those you may have only met once. It can become quite a list, can’t it? Thinking about that can make some of the day-to-day difficulties in this life much more bearable.