I’m gonna miss my friend Ross. I’m going to think about him every time I see a garbage truck, or someone playing a guitar left handed, or pull in my fishing line with a big, ol’ catfish hooked on the end.
I’m going to miss his exuberance for Jesus, and his love for kids.
He was so proud of his family; his wife, kids, siblings, folks.
I will miss his texts, “Busy? Got a minute to talk?” And then we’d knock down 60 minutes talking about the things of God.
This morning Ross went to Heaven.
Every time a friend passes from earth to glory, I wonder what that first morning is like. Actually, I dream about it.
You might even say I fantasize about Heaven.
And why not? The Apostle Paul wrote, “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Philippians 1:23 ESV)
Notice he said, “FAR BETTER”.
That first morning will be worth all the pain, suffering, and misunderstandings endured as we followed Christ in this life.
Again, Paul wrote, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV)
So what is that first morning like?
Well, I believe it’s kind of like that first morning in the Garden of Eden. The dawn of creation. Where everything was just as God created it to be.
Good and VERY good.
Where Adam and Eve walked with God, without shame or embarrassment; and BEFORE the serpent manipulated his way into power.
Yes, it’s kind of like that first garden, only much better.
Better? Wasn’t everything perfect in the garden?
Apparently not. Could have been, however…
But that first morning in Heaven will be MUCH better than Eden could EVER have been.
Well, first of all, there’s no need for the sun (or moon); the Glory of God shining through the Son is its light.
Second, there’s no devil or tempter.
Third, sorrow and mourning are wiped away.
Fourth, we’ll have a grand reunion with our sainted loved ones.
But the main reason I believe Eden can’t compare with Heaven, yes, that first morning in Heaven, is the love relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sure, Adam and Eve were forgiven in the Garden of Eden. But they had to leave. Those of us who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior have experienced the new birth, the witness of the Spirit, and the freedom that comes from knowing the love of God.
On this side of eternity, our hearts yearn, even ache, to forever be with the Lover of our soul. That’s something Adam and Eve couldn’t experience.
They never knew the power of the Resurrection. They were forgiven and clothed by God, yet could not partake of His divine nature as described by Peter in 2 Peter 1:2-4:
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:2 – 1:4 ESV)
That first morning in Heaven will be an unfolding of everything Jesus is to us, for us, and with us.
And that first morning with last for all eternity; for the manifold wisdom and glory of God will never grow old, never run out.
I miss my buddy Ross. He’s the most recent friend to have completed his journey through this life.
So while I’m still here, kicking around my world, trying to let others know of my Savior’s love, my friend has just begun a brand new adventure; the final, forever adventure.
I can hardly wait.
Here’s a nice, happy tune called “First Morning in Heaven” by Chris Christian. Enjoy.