Father’s Day and the Hope of Heaven

 

Happy Father’s Day!

I just got back a few hours ago from the South Central Regional CrossFit games in Houston, and I am exhausted! I should add that I did NOT compete; I’m simply wiped out from two 100-degree days spent watching and cheering on some of the most amazing athletes I’ve ever seen! My boyfriend and buddy drove down from East Texas to support two of our friends who gave it their absolute all during an incredibly intense weekend that included such Herculean WODS (workouts of the day) as completing 100 pullups, 100 kettlebell swings, 100 double-unders (jump roping), and 100 overhead squats in under 25 minutes! Utterly amazing, to say the least. For more info on CrossFit, click here and/or check out my other posts tagged as “CrossFit.” 😀

CrossFit Teams Facing Deadlifts and Box Jumps!

Because I am worn out from the aforementioned weekend of standing around cheering, this blog won’t be exhaustive. (By the way, just typing words like “exhaustive,” and “worn out” is making me yawn!) Anyway, I just wanted to spend a few minutes typing out what’s on my father-reflecting heart…

As some of you may know from reading previous posts, my dad passed away in August of 2009. It goes without saying that for anyone who has lost a mom or dad, days like today are especially bittersweet. I’m not what I’d consider sentimental when it comes to “holidays” like Mother’s and Father’s Day, or even Valentine’s Day. I’m certainly not cynical, at least not obnoxiously so, but I do find the hyped up commercialism and glitzy, gimmicky nature of such annual events to be unoriginally robotic, at best. That said, even the Ebenezer Scrooge of Father’s Day will find himself wiping tears from his eyes as others call their dads to say “I love you,” take them to their favorite steakhouses, or buy them a new neck tie.

On the drive home from Houston, we listened to a teaching on heaven (“What’s Up with Heaven?”) preached by pastor James MacDonald from the Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. (Check out your local Christian radio stations for his ministry, “Walk in the Word!”) After my dad went to heaven unexpectedly, I decided it was high time I learn something about it.

Until two years ago, I thought heaven was more or less a nebulous, frothy white dreamland populated by ethereal, Elvish-like angels and humans-turned-cherubs plucking harps on cumulus clouds. The book aptly titled Heaven by Randy Alcorn changed my entire perspective for the better, and I truly thank God for bringing that book to me. James MacDonald made an excellent point, which is echoed in Alcorn’s comprehensive work. I’ll Diana-ize it here: If you know you’re going to be vacationing somewhere new, exciting, and exotic, wouldn’t you want to study the brochure and do some Googling so you know what to expect? If we do this with earthly vacations, why don’t we do so with our eternal destination?

I don’t have the time, space, nor the energy to enumerate each of the life-changing and soul-stirring truths I learned through Alcorn’s book, as well as through several other biblical, doctrinally sound studies on the subject of heaven and the New Earth, i.e., one of the truths I learned about! 😉 I simply want to encourage those of you who have lost a loved one, particularly loved ones who had a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, to take comfort in the knowledge of the blessed hope we all share, the hope of a glorious, perfect, everlasting dwelling place that is more tangible, more breathable, more real than the sky and trees and sea around you. It is illuminated by Love… aglow with God Himself (Revelation 21:23).

Artist's rendition of the "New Jerusalem" (Rev. 21)

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away. And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine). –Revelation 21:4-5 (Amplified)

Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di

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