I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. Philippians 1:23
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
Dear Jesus, I already had so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but now you’ve upped the ante considerably… you’ve fuel the furnace of my gratitude… you’ve added grace upon grace, and I worship and adore you. I praise you that my dad finally knows the “better by far” of being with you. As of late last night, he’s gone from that 91 year-old Alzheimer’s invaded body and is free at last. He’s at home with you. What more could I possibly want for my dad? Hallelujah, the gospel is true!
No more looking at me with kind eyes, but with a clueless expression about who I am, or even what the category of “son” means. No more loss of dignity and no more limits on delight… no more grabbing for a thought or grasping for a breath… no more confinements, confusion or cares about anything… no more wandering around, just the wonder of your glory and the fullness of your grace. Hallelujah, the gospel is true!
Jesus, though my dad and I were never able to carry on deep conversations about you, or engage in meaty Biblical and theological discussions, right now… even as I write and pray this prayer, he knows more about you than I ever dreamed was knowable. He’s experiencing the promised “beyond all we can ask or imagine,” while I still have to ask and try to imagine. Everything I know about your beauty and bounty can fit into a thimble, with room left over, compared to what my dad now knows to be true about you. Hallelujah, the gospel is true!
Jesus, knowing he’s with you also thrills me to think about the company he’s now keeping—the fellowship dad is enjoying. Without a spiritualized sentimentality… without a schmaltzy twisting of Scripture or exegetical fantasies, I love the thought of my dad and my mom seeing each other again after 49 years. Indeed, to be present with you, is to be present with all of those who’ve died dressed in your righteousness alone. My dad’s in heaven, not because he was as good man (though he was), but because you are a great Savior. Hallelujah, the gospel is true!
So very Amen, I pray this Thanksgiving week, in your merciful and mighty name.