Recently my family lost my grandfather. At the funeral, two days after Easter, I saw many family members I hadn’t seen in years, including my brother who infrequently comes home to visit. Despite the somber day, it was a beautiful time and I found great comfort in being with the whole family.
As family members returned home later that day and the day following, I reflected on this yearning I had stirring in me for union with everyone again: There’s never enough time with the people we love. I don’t know that I ever felt that before so strongly.
Time passes all too quickly. Loved ones move away, can become estranged, and die eventually. Our circle becomes smaller with the passing years, and we grieve “what was.” The treasured moments of unity where we were all together as one become more infrequent, but desired even more.
The strength of that desire heals us. We know we are growing in the ways of God when we desire union more than we desire division. We learn to let go of hurts, resentments, bitterness, and other feelings that just don’t seem all that important anymore. Because what we really long for is to be one, to be together in peace, love, and joy and we let the rest settle. We come to terms with our deepest desires and live by them.
I now understand why my grandparents frequently gathered and wanted to gather us all together. As we age, our desire to gather and be in union with our family increases all the more. We realize with each passing day, month, and year that time is moving quickly. We want to savor and cherish that time.
The desire to gather, be all together, and be in union with one another is a God given desire born of eternity. Only in heaven can that union be truly fulfilled and satisfied. That’s what we hope for during this time of Easter. We hope and have renewed faith that we will rise again like Jesus and all be together in heaven again in perfect unity with one another.
If you ask me why I’m a believer and why I care about and live my faith, it really boils down to this simple truth: My greatest desire to be in eternal union with my Creator and my loved ones forever, and following the way of Christ is the only way to get there.
That’s exactly why Jesus died on the cross and rose for us. He wanted the same things – our salvation – to be with God and to be with us forever because He loves and cherishes us more deeply than we can fathom.