In the Gospel of John, the third chapter and sixteenth verse, it says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Angela not only received God's gift of salvation, but she dedicated her life in service to Him and in bringing His love and salvation to many others around the world.
Someone once said that "a wise person gears his earthly goals to heavenly gains," and that "our main business in this world is to secure an interest in the next." There is no doubt in our minds that our friend and fellow missionary, Angela, has gone on to great rewards in Heaven. Everywhere she went, she lived to love, to give, to help, and to serve others, and because of this she was greatly loved by everyone who knew her.
She was always reaching out, ready to help, always trying to do something for others, giving; not only of her earthly possessions, but giving herself, her time, her talents, her prayers, her seat, her tears. She was there to encourage others, ready to lend a listening ear, or to extend a helping hand. Wherever she went, she reached out to love others on a daily basis, no matter what the circumstances. Angela was one of a kind, a blessing to us all. Seldom does such a sacrificial soul grace our lives.
Though it saddens all of us to say goodbye, because of our deep faith in Jesus, we find comfort knowing Angela is now in a better place. In the New Testament, 1st Corinthians, chapter two, verse nine, Paul speaks of the indescribable beauties that wait the Christian on the other side of that "horizon". He said, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." We believe that God, in His all-knowing and all-understanding love, has taken Angela to that better place.
This is a day of meditation and reflection for us. Even though by faith we know and believe in the absolute reality of the spirit world, and we trust in God's plan and care, still, times like these are difficult to go through. Departures like Angela's are times of testing, of breaking, and most importantly of tender softening. Our hearts are heavy, knowing that in this life we will no longer be able to see her, to look upon her face, to hear her hearty laughter, and to experience the "special" things about Angela which did us all a lot of good and for which we so vividly remember her.
Yet our assurance and strength through this time lies in the joy we find in knowing that she has gone on to her reward and to brighter days. She's passed through that door to the other side, that beautiful place called Heaven, full of God's love and peace, where there exists greater happiness than ever and God's love beyond description. We've not lost Angela, she is not gone, and we've not lost her love. Our memories and her place in each of our hearts are permanent. This time of separation and distance between us is only for a moment.
We find hope and comfort in knowing that God does all things well. He causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him, whether He gives, or whether He takes away. He holds all things in His hands. He brings light where there is darkness, healing where there is hurt, relief where there is pain, clarity where there is confusion, and peace where there is turmoil. All of life's joys and blessings come from Him, and do not end when this life ends, rather, they continue in the life which lies beyond the veil.
Angela has gone ahead and will await us on the other side. And in God's perfect time, when each of our time comes, we will be reunited with her and with all those we love, and together we will share the delights of paradise for all eternity. The gains of Heaven will more than compensate for the losses of Earth.
Our hearts are with you, Angela. Thank you for bringing so much joy and cheer into our lives. It's only a matter of time before we are all together again in the light of a heavenly new day. Then there will be no regrets, no tears only love and happiness, hugs, heavenly music, times of fellowship and joy, and the spending of all eternity together once again.
Think of it
Stepping on shore,
and finding it Heaven!
Of taking hold of a hand,
and finding it God's hand.
Of breathing a new air,
and finding it celestial air.
Of feeling invigorated,
and find it immortality.
Of passing from storm to tempest
to an unbroken calm.
Of waking up and finding it Home.
--Robert E. Selle