By Jill Briscoe
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." ~ Luke 23:43
Jesus was talking of paradise. When you are by the side of a dying person, Paradise is a great topic of conversation. Even if you, too, are suffering, thinking of Paradise can help. Jesus cared about thieves, robbers, and scoundrels. He borrowed a cross from a murderer and chose to die among thieves! He forgave torturers and blessed the disciples that had abandoned Him to His fate. He met treachery with the promises of God.
Are you sitting by the bedside of a dying child? Think on Paradise. Are you parting with a loved one? Listen to what Jesus is saying! “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” He will keep them safely for you, and He will keep you safely for them! He will reunite you in heaven – till then, abide in His love and care.
In heavenly love abiding / No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding / For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me / My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me / And can I be dismayed?
Wherever He may guide me / No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me / And nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh / His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh / And I will walk with Him.
Green pastures are before me / Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me / Where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure / My path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure / And He will walk with me.
~ Anna L. Waring, 1850
Lord, it is such comfort to know that loved ones we have said goodbye to are safe with You in Paradise. We can be assured they are in total peace. When things seem dim in my grief, remind me that You have promised wonderful things in Paradise, great joy! Let this thought motivate me to listen to You, and follow You closely each day. Amen.