I’ll never forget the vigil of sitting by my dad’s bed as he spent his last few days with us before slipping into eternity. To this day the moment of his passing continues to have a profound effect on me. My dad was always there for me. I could call him whenever I needed counsel. I have great memories of our days fishing together; we would talk about God and the Bible, and I would prompt him to tell those fun stories from his youth on the farm.

But when Dad took his last breath, I became aware of the irreversible finality of death. He was gone from this world. And my heart had a vacancy sign hung on its door.

Yet, even in the midst of such loss and grief, God’s Word speaks encouragingly into the emptiness. The apostle Paul teaches us that at the coming of the Lord Jesus, those who have gone on before will rise first and we “shall be caught up together with them . . . . And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17). Now that’s a reunion I’m really looking forward to! Not only to be reunited with my dad, but to be with Jesus forever.

C. S. Lewis said, “Christians never say goodbye.” I’m eagerly awaiting that ultimate reunion!