Heavenly Hope

“Dad, just rest,” I softly whispered to my ill father, as I lightly wrap my left arm across his chest. Reminiscing the many memories he shared with us, as every hour quietly slipped away, marking every hour of his imminent physical departure.

“I can’t…Lord, please take me now,” he mumbled under his breath but those words had audibly reached my sense of hearing. Trying to mask his pain, he seldom spoke of the severity of pain from his abdomen he had to endure. My father was dying from colon cancer. The year was 2007.

His prayers remained constant. A constant pleading to have his journey be halted. By the Hands of his Creator. Silence. His eyes closed and his breathing became more normal. As if he fell into a deep sleep, my brothers and I were just huddled close to him. We were like little kids buying more time to cling to our father. Holding him, hugging him, kissing him. As our hearts already had holes that fit the size of our dearest mother, 7 years prior to that, were again preparing to be broken.

Suddenly, his eyes opened and with a soft voice strengthened by his love for us, he spoke, “It’s okay now. I can wait. We go in groups and my group is next.”

“Dad, are you okay? What’s my name?” came out the nurse in me, assessing him for his orientation.

“Rosel! You’re Rosel! Yes, I’m okay. I told you, I can wait now. The Lord will get me when it’s okay with Him. But He told me, that we must learn to forgive. Because when we don’t, that’s why it takes us a long time to go to His place,” he uttered with his remaining strength.

His mind was very clear. And whatever he said might have been from a dream. But there was a truth into that statement. For the Lord did want us to learn to forgive.

My father was a joker. And despite being on bedrest the whole time, he managed to joke around with all of us. He was in good spirits. He accepted the Lord in the year 2003. And the depression he had gone through after half of his heart departed [my mother], was replaced by the joy that came from knowing His Savior. He loved helping others. He loved sharing whatever things he had to those who were in need.

If not for Jesus, I knew then, my brothers and I wouldn’t have comfort and peace. Because of His promise of eternal life to those who would believe in Him, we had that heavenly hope of being reunited, first with Jesus, and then, with our loving parents and other lost loved ones who accepted Jesus in their hearts.

I kissed my father and put my mouth near his ear, “I love you dad. Be patient and wait for the Lord.”

He turned his head to where I was and answered, “I love you. I want you and your brothers to know that I love you all so much. I’ll wait. Because God knows the perfect time.” He closed his eyes. And I knew, the waiting had begun. But it was all worth the wait…”

My eyes shed some tears...of mixed emotions: tears of knowing how much would be missed and tears of joy knowing we had a great reunion to look forward to...

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going." ~ John 14:1-4

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