Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise Him Praise Him"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 25:8 – He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The Lord has spoken! (NLT)
I walked over, shook his hand, and said, "Good to see you."
Almost four years had passed since my family had seen my youngest brother. It wasn't because he had no way to get here, or because he was mad at anyone, or because he was too busy. Four years ago, Mom remarried. While my middle brother and I were okay with her remarrying, our younger brother wasn't. He's never met her husband — and doesn't care to.
One day, I received a text from my brother saying that he was going to be in our hometown. He was bringing his two girls who wanted to see some of the places where he had grown up and to visit some of the cemeteries where our relatives were buried. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to visit with him, my wife and I — along with our two grands and our other brother and his son — headed out.
Though it was only our immediate family, being together was like a family reunion — something that our family hadn't experienced in four years. We ate together, visited old homes where we had once lived, stopped by a few cemeteries, and even got to see two more cousins along the way. Though the drive was long, the experience was worth it.
The prophet speaks of a time when things that now divide will not any more, and a time when unpleasant experiences will be wiped away forever. Death will be non-existent. No more tears will be shed over the things that make us shed tears: death, broken relationships, immorality, crime, loss, or attacks on God's people.
Heaven isn't just a pie-in-the-sky dream of those who tire of earth's complications. It is an actual place inhabited by angels, believers, and a real God who wants everyone to live there. Things that separate us on earth will be wiped away. Fellowship with God and each other — with no sinful taint to our relationships — will be enjoyed forever.
I could drive two hours to repair the broken relationship with my brother, but I can't do that with God without His assistance. Although He requires what we can't give on our own — repentance and faith — He is merciful enough to grant them as gifts so that the broken connection between Him and us can be mended. Once that is complete, we have the greatest family reunion ever to look forward to.
Let us each make sure that we don't miss God's family reunion.
Prayer: Father, thank You for preparing a place where we can live with You forever. Amen.