Dad would’ve loved this record-breaking winter. Not that he enjoyed the cold and snow, but he was always up for a challenge.
He would have gone out every day just to prove he could. Level 3 snow emergency – ha! That wouldn’t keep him parked. -40° wind chill – ha! That just meant putting on the lined jacket.
Then he’d call to tell me about the brutal cold, the deep snow, how many cars he’d seen in the ditch, how much he slid around, and how well he handled the icy slick roads. And if he fell on the ice, he’d tell me about that, too.
That was the “old normal”… knowing dad would be pushing the limit, and waiting for the phone to ring in the evening so he could tell all about it.
The “new normal” is talking about dad in the past tense. The “new normal” is not getting a call from him. The “new normal” is realizing the finality of death.
That may be our new normal, but it surely isn’t dad’s!
What is dad’s “new normal”? Can it even be called “normal”? Is there anything “normal” about being in the visible presence of Jesus every moment? Of continual praise? Of ceaseless joy? Of pure love? Of a sinless existence? Can we begin to imagine? I don’t think so…
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – 1 Corinthians 2:9
What do we know about heaven? We know it’s real. We know that Jesus is there. We know that those who trust in Him will be with Him in heaven when they leave their physical bodies.
“…as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord” – 2 Corinthians 5:8 NIV
“I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” – Philippians 1:23 NIV
We know that we will recognize each other. We know we don’t become angels. We know we remain ourselves.
Can we be sure that we will go to heaven? Yes! The glorious truth is that when we trust our salvation entirely to Jesus and the work He accomplished on the cross, our eternity is secure.
Trusting Jesus means we recognize that it is not about how good we are, but about how bad we are. We must admit that there is nothing good in us. Nothing. Not 80%, not 50%, not 10%, but 0%. We ask Jesus to save us from the sin that enslaves us 100%. We ask Him to enter into our person and live His life through us. We surrender to Him, and then we are saved. From that moment on, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. It is God who saves us, secures our salvation, and brings us to heaven.
“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy…” – Jude 24, NIV
Dad would’ve loved this winter… but I’m sure it can’t touch how much he loves the Springtime of eternity!