by Linda Ray Center
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV
Each morning my mother, Claire Ray, faithfully drew close to the Lord. She often sat in her favorite wingback chair before breakfast to prepare her heart for prayer. Her routine began with one of her devotional books, then finished with a chapter or two from her Bible. Claire went through several Bibles in her ninety-four years. She always penned the date on the cover page after she finished reading through her Bible. Her total was forty-eight times.
Mother loved and trusted Jesus more than anything. On her hospital bed last November, before she took her last couple of breaths, my sister overheard her whisper, “Jesus, what is taking you so long? I’m so ready for you to come and get me.” Mother’s words told me she anticipated going to a place where everything that is best remains. What a tremendous relief to know she looked forward to embracing the loving arms of her Lord and Savior. His divine love surrounded her as she prepared for her heavenly departure.
Later, a friend sent me a condolence card. In the card was an outline for a “Letter to Heaven.” I used it to write a letter to honor my mother and another to honor my deceased husband. As I filled in the blanks, I caught sight of heavenly hope.
Since Valentine’s Day is in February, you might wish to remember a special someone who has left earth to reside in a place where everything lasts forever. Write why they were special to you, maybe a favorite memory or thing you miss most about them. Remind yourself that some day you will see them again and spend eternity together in the presence of the Lord.
Heaven is a place where love fills every heart. Scriptures tell us to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Scripture is God’s love letter to us. It contains so many promises and expressions of His love, like these:
On earth, my dear child, as it is in Heaven, you can love because I first loved you. (1 John 4:19)
You can depend on My goodness, and that I will always do the right thing for you. (Psalm 23:6)
Nothing can separate you from My love. (Romans 8:28-39)
As I curl up in Mom’s favorite wingback chair, I’m renewed by Scripture:
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Linda Ray Center is a writer and inspirational speaker. She writes nonfiction for women and fiction for children. She has published The Relationship Dance and Crystal Discovers The Glow. She is also a contributing author to Abba’s Answers, 2020 Florida Writers Illusion Collection, Whispers of Grace and SuperBudZ. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as Good News, Joyful Living, Keys for Kids, and Unlocked. She encourages women and children to follow God’s design in their life experiences. Linda resides in charming Chattanooga. Connect with her at lindaraycenter.com or on Facebook and Instagram.
Join the conversation: How does your heavenly hope affect your here and now?