I heard a loud voice coming from heaven. It said, “See! God’s home is with men. He will live with them. They will be His people. God Himself will be with them.
He will be their God. God will take away all their tears.
There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. (Revelation 21:3-4 NLV)

My grandparents wanted to get married on the 4th of July. They planned to meet early in the morning, take the train to International Falls (MN), and find a justice of the peace who would marry them. They slept late, missed the train, and ended up getting married on July 5.

That was the story I was told when I was a kid. Is it true? I don’t know. It’s an interesting story. What is true is that for quite a few people in the USA the usual 4th of July celebrations won’t happen. No parade. No large gathering. No fireworks show. No concert.

How am I reacting to this? I am thinking about what I will feel like on the 5th of July. Because I am still taking the coronavirus threat seriously, I’m respecting the limitations placed on me as a citizen of NYState. I want to be alive and well on July 5 and the following days of summer. I am willing to postpone a big celebration today so I can celebrate later on with even more joy. Aren’t you?

During the last years of her life on this earth, my sister endured many limitations. Her eyesight faded. Her hearing diminished. Her muscles weakened. Her steps faltered. Her speech became muffled. Her internal organs did not work properly. NOT a pretty picture! Still, as long as she was able, almost to the end of her life, she celebrated her faith in Jesus and love for me by attempting to sing with me when she heard my voice. She always wanted to hear me when her daughter said, “Your sister’s calling.” She did not become bitter. As long as she was able to, she said, “Thank you.”

My sister is not here. I cannot call her on this 4th of July. She has been reunited with her soldier sweetheart in heaven. The celebration there is far beyond my imagination. Someday, I will join her there. Knowing that a fantastic celebration is ahead of me, I can put up with quite a few limitations and restrictions here. Can’t you?

As my sister would say, and as she and I sang together, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.”

I wrote the following poem a few days after my sister’s funeral.

With Jesus for Eternity
This world is filled with pain and tears
It all will change when Christ appears
Yet those who live ‘neath Jesus reign
Are filled with joy, despite their pain
His gentle Spirit calms their fear
And they advance his kingdom here
How blessed are those who live this truth
And have embraced it from their youth
Though they may have no earthly fame
God hears their prayer “in Jesus’ name”
And blesses them in countless ways
For which they always give him praise
When their work on earth is complete
He calls them home; at last they meet
The ONE they were created for
That’s all they want. There’s nothing more
There’s nothing greater than to be
With Jesus for eternity
Jane Ault

16 Responses

  1. I love this post. It speaks so eloquently and gently to the need for masks during this pandemic. I feel your bittersweet pain and joy about your sister’s passing. You share your insight and wisdom to our betterment.
    Thank you dear friend.

  2. What a beautiful witness your story is, and a beautiful poem, Jane. I lost my mother in October and your poem spoke to me.
    I am sorry for your loss also. Continued blessings on your writing, as you bless others.
    Peace be with you

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Terri. May God continue to comfort you in the loss of your mother. Peace and

  3. Dear Jane,
    I enjoyed your poem and especially the part about “His gentle spirit calms my fear”. The Holy Spirit is such a help in gaining perspective for these unusual days. Our assignments have changed, our day planners are bare or crossed out. God reminds us that He does work ALL things together for good. There is nothing better than eternity with Jesus.

    1. Dear Donna,
      Yes, everything around us is changing. Jesus is the same and still, remarkably relevant in the changing world of today. My prayer is that we will joyfully adapt to the new wineskins he provides for us and be filled afresh with the power of His Spirit.

  4. What a beautiful testimony and poem. May God Bless you as you encourage many. I am staying home today on this July 4, 2020.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Wanda. I ‘m thankful God gives me poems of encouragement. May be keep you safe.

  5. Jane, that is a powerful testimony of God’s love and redemption as He patiently waits for our repentance. Your sister lived a beautiful life of faith. May we all hear the words that must have met her ears:”Well done, good and faithful servant!”

    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement,Diane. Yes, May we hear Jesus ‘s approving and welcoming words.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Natalie. I am glad you and your family are taking care of your health. God speaks to me through poetry and I enjoy sharing my poems.

  6. Thanks so much Jane…It grieves me that so many people seem to have ignored the message of sheltering in place with true social distancing. Having had fought for breath and life in hospitals personally through my years, I know how terrible it is. It is a different perspective but in some ways, I am grateful. God says in the last days people will be carrying on as usual, ignoring the signs and messages He is giving. I feel this is a time to draw closer to Him, read His Word more passionately. For that I am grateful. May there be a revival of turning to God, hearing His heart, blessing Him with our repentance and obedience. Perhaps He will heal the tragic division of Christians here so that only, In God we Trust as we shelter in His Place.

    1. Deborah, I truly appreciate your comment. I see the same things that you do and long and pray for that revival of “turning to God, hearing His heart, blessing Him with our repentance and obedience”. I often think of Jesus’s prayer (John 17) for all believers: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” and I pray for this.

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