"Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise"

by | Mar 5, 2009 | Faith

“Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'” Luke 23:43

Luke 23 43Today Jill is in paradise with Jesus! She’s been there for a few days now. I can only imagine what she’s experiencing there. We celebrated Jill’s life today, and mourned her death at her funeral. Pastor Kay from First Lutheran quoted the above scripture verse which are the words Jesus himself said while he was suffering on the cross at Calvary. I usually hear this scripture verse at Eastertime, especially on Good Friday. It was good for me to be reminded of Jesus’ words at Jill’s funeral today. She’s in the presence of God. She’s experiencing nothing but joy, peace and bliss as she’s there. She’s been reunited with friends and family who have gone before her. I’m praying she and my mom and dad have met…oh, how my parents would enjoy getting to know Jill!

Tonight as I’m thinking of Jill and what she might be experiencing in paradise, I’m reminded of Psalm 90:4

“For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”

This is referring to God and time. From what I understand, God doesn’t measure time like we do. I remember Pastor Barb sharing this with me after her husband, Jim passed away 4-1/2 years ago. She said that scripture verse is very clear to her that the length of days here aren’t the length of days in heaven. Could it be that a thousand years here on earth could be like only a day in heaven? I think that’s definately a possibility! Could it be that even though my father passed away almost 10 years ago, that maybe in heaven he feels like he’s only been there a few hours? What about Jill? If that’s possible, she might think she’s only been there just a few minutes! We really won’t know until we get there!

We mourn the loss of Jill. We all miss her greatly. Even though selfishly I want her back on this earth, I have to remember she’s in the most incredible place! Her bright smile and warm laugh can only be magnified in heaven. That makes me happy. But reality is…the sadness of her death and her absence from my life is so fresh and painful right now.

There were so many things that touched me today…I might have to make a separate post for all the things I can recall. The thing that stands out in my mind right now is the funeral procession from the church to the cemetary. The line of cars was as far ahead and as far behind us as the eye could see. I couldn’t see either end from where we were in the line. The police department stopped all side street traffic…police cars were at almost every intersection. Even the police department honored Jill by what they did! (Brian is a captain on the fire department.) I was in awe, as were so many others that were in the procession.

The song that keeps playing in my mind today is “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me. Look it up…it’s beautiful. It encourages me, and I believe it will you too.

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