Getting Ready to Live with Jesus
The Lord is getting us ready to live with him (Ephesians 2:10; John 14:3). God knows when each of us has been conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ, and is ready to live with him (Romans 8:29). He decided my wife was ready. His Spirit is preparing me and you to live with him.
In a previous testimony (“Righting our Relationships with God and People”), I shared how the Lord had worked patiently with me and my wife Jean to heal our marriage. We were planning to live together again. However, the Lord had decided my wife was just about ready to live with him in heaven.
My wife Jean was diagnosed with a fast acting terminal cancer. Her cancer was not remissible as mine had been. I was stunned. However, when Jean realized the Lord may take her to be with him, she started “getting her house in order.” She wanted to spent our last days together going places we had enjoyed together. On an occasion when we went to one of our favorite restaurants, she wanted her mother to come with us. I could sense the love side of my wife’s “love-hate” feelings reaching out to her mother. The Lord impressed upon me to assist her in trying to heal her relationship with her mother. I wanted to see my wife completely healed of any residual feelings of resentment toward her mother, like the Lord had healed her feeling toward me. Our sharing this time together seemed to have a therapeutic effect. Jean told me, while her mother was distracted, “I know you did this [get-together with her and her mother] for me.”
The Lord allowed me to see the struggle my wife was having in forgiving her mother for the pain her mother had caused her over the years. When I was alone with my wife Jean, I often prayed with her and encouraged her to forgive her mother for any hurt her mother had caused. My wife would sometimes say, despite the pains her mother caused her, she was thankful to her mother for teaching her about God. I knew the Lord was getting Jean ready to be with Him
The Lord allowed me to spend time with my wife being her primary caregiver. I took leave from my job to care for her, while she was staying at her mother’s house. And I planned to retire when my leave expired to continue caring for her. But before I was to retire my wife was taken to the hospital for expert palliative care. However, before she went to the hospital, she looked at me lovingly and said: “I have always loved you.” She knew the Lord was about ready to take her to be with him.
The Lord permitted us to say our last farewells. At the hospital, I encouraged my wife to tell her mother she loved her. She told her mother, “I love you.” I urged Jean to go with Jesus. Jean said, “Lord take care of Steve.” I had stayed a few days in the hospital by her bed, but went home for a night of rest. I returned to the hospital the next morning. The Lord had taken my wife Jean to live with Him.
The Lord Continues to Get Me and You Ready
I have fallen into sin and been forgiven by God. He has helped me mend my broken relationship with my wife before took her to be with him. And He is continuing to grow me into the image of his Son Jesus Christ. The Lord is getting me ready to live with him. And he is getting you ready to live with him.
We are God’s handiwork, being made into the image of Christ Jesus to glorify him and do his good works. After being beset by sin and failing to achieve my initial vision of ministering for the Lord, I felt a sense of great loss. However, God taught me, as he did Paul, to forget those things which are behind, and focus on “reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Philippians 3:13). God convinced me that through his love and power, he would make up for my years of loss (Joel 2:25; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 3:20). We should realize our sufficiency is not of ourselves, but of God (2 Corinthians 3:5).
Since my return to the Lord, he has blessed me with many opportunities to do service for him in ministering to his people. Below are some of the things he has enabled me to do for him and his people.
- He has given me opportunities to minister in outreach to many unchurched people
- Do work with Christian groups
- Participate in Christian ministries at home and abroad
- Do street outreach ministry
- Teach Bible classes, and counsel in drug rehabilitation programs
- Counsel and minister to prisoners with alcohol and substance histories inmates
- Work in treatment of dual-diagnosed inmates
- Participate in ministering to the sick and shut-in
- Start a blog ministry for Jesus Christ
- Space and time does not allow me to elaborate more on these and other things the Lord has enabled me to do for his glory and for his people, as he gets me ready to live with him.
If you have fallen and the Lord has enabled you to rise again, don’t let the enemy defeat God’s purpose to use you. The Lord will use what you have learned from your fall to glorify himself. God works all things together for good in conforming you into the image of his Son, in getting you ready to live with him (Romans 8:28-29).
How you may see the Lord getting you ready to live with him
- Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? (John 3:16-18)
- Are you allowing the Father to conform you to the image of his of his only begotten Son? (Romans 8:29)
- Is the Holy Spirit causing you to be holy as He is holy? (1 Peter 1:16)
- Are you seeking the kingdom of God first rather than the things of this world? (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:2)
- Are you willing to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Jesus? (Matthew 16:24)
- Are you endeavoring to show others love as Jesus has shown love for you? (Mark 12:31)
- Are you telling others about the love of the crucified Christ, to bring them into the Kingdom of God? (Acts 1:8; Romans 10:17)
- The Lord has gone to prepare a placed for his followers. He has sent the Holy Spirit to help prepare us to live with the Him in heaven (John 14:1-3; Revelation 19:7).
- Jesus is able to present all of his followers “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24; John 10:128)