“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." —Jesus as recorded in John 14:1-3 (ESV)
It was December 4, 2004 and we had suddenly become as giddy as little children rather than four adults hovering around the half-century mark. Today, watching and listening to a video of the event, it is a wonder that we were not all buckled in to children's safety seats in the back while another, calmer, and more mature adult did the driving. "Can you just slow down when you get on a hill? Gosh!" "Ours is the one on the left!" "Ours is the pretty one!" "We have Mickey stacks!"
We had just had our first glimpse in the distance of the Disney Cruise Line ship, Magic, and we would soon be arriving for check-in and boarding as Danny & Cathy Herron and Cathy & I wrapped up the celebration of our 30th wedding anniversaries with a "once in a lifetime" seven night Western Caribbean cruise. The paperwork was filled out, the passports and cameras were in hand, and we were as excited as could be. Once aboard, we ate some lunch and toured the ship while waiting for our cabins to be ready.
Half-way through the cruise we knew we had to replace "once in a lifetime" with "at least once every five years." So, on December 5, 2009, the Magic was boarded by a calmer, more sophisticated foursome (Yeah, right. Like that's ever going to happen). Having enjoyed our cabins on our first cruise so much, we reserved the same ones and went right to them because we were informed upon check-in that they were all ready for us and we would not have to wait.
|Danny & Cathy Herron Cathy & Jim Gantenbein|
Believe it or not (maybe "like it or not"), that is just the prequel for this post.
On Mom's side of the family (the Poppino clan), it has been a rough couple of months. Her baby brother passed away around the end of April. This past Sunday, June 3, I received a message that another brother passed away. The next evening my sister called to say that Mom's last brother passed away. Add these to my oldest sister's passing a couple of years ago and you can see why it has been rough.
Although we are all grieving at this time, my sister, Cheryl, and Mom's siblings are/were all Christians and are undoubtedly in no mood to return to this side of heaven. Together with my grandparents and all the other saints, they are experiencing worship, praise, love, life, fulfillment, and joy with such perfection we can not even imagine it. But we can look forward to it.
Jesus said He was going to prepare/provide/make ready a place/room for us and that He would come again and receive us to Himself so that we could be with Him. Why are they there with Jesus and we are still here? I guess their rooms were ready and our rooms are not. Plus, their work was done and our work is not finished. So, I had best close this and get back to it!
P.S. As of this writing, there are 903 days until we leave for our 40th Anniversary Celebration Trip and our kids are all invited but I have no idea when my departure for heaven will be.