‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
Jeremiah 29:11 has always been a prominent verse in our home. I’ve prayed it over my children many times, and my husband and I stand on it, as well. Some may read this verse, knowing that Christiano has passed, and wonder what went wrong. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you…’ That part of the verse has the potential to raise many questions. It just doesn’t seem to add up, especially for Christiano. Didn’t harm come his way? After all, he was in a car accident that abruptly ended his life here on the earth. How is that a prosperous life with a hope and a future? When Christiano was here, I would often say things like, ‘I see great things for you’ or ‘you’re going to do amazing things.’ I even said, ‘you’re going to change the world,’ and I meant every word. So, what does this all mean?
Surely, I don’t have all the answers, but one thing I’ve inherited while going through this is a mind for Heaven. To be real, I had not really given Heaven much thought prior to the accident. I mean, I’d heard about it, read about it, and I knew I was going there one day. That is all I really cared to know because, in my book, if God made it – it was going to be good. But, after losing Christiano, I needed more. I needed to know some things about where my boy was going to be living, so I listened to some great teachings on heaven. The best one came from my pastor. He used this phrase to describe it, ‘Heaven is unrestrained fulfillment and joy.’ He taught that Heaven is going to be full of life and fellowship with God; that there will be nothing to hinder us anymore; that there will be opportunity and purpose with no stress or opposition. ‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘purpose and fulfillment?!’ And, then I began to think of Adam and Eve. They walked with God and talked with God in the cool of the day. They tended the flocks and cared for the garden, and before sin entered this world, they weren’t bound by time or finances or opposition. They were care free living a life full of purpose! That means, not only is there great purpose in heaven, but the possibilities are limitless. Heaven is the ultimate ‘hope and future’ for all of us who believe. Christiano is being prospered and he will never face harm again. I also see that Christiano DID do great things while here on this earth. He has done amazing things and he has changed the world of many. One thing is certain, he changed my world forever, and because of him, I will never be the same. I also believe that the memory of Christiano will continue the work he began here – that his story will live on in all of us and the impact will be great. And, although I miss him terribly, knowing He is with The Lord, living a life that is free from anything bad brings me some comfort this morning. And, If he were here right now, Christiano would tell us to keep going.
Because, for those of us here on earth, we’ve still got work to do. Whether we are on earth or in Heaven, God has great purpose and destiny for His children, and it all begins with knowing Him.
Philippians 3:10 ‘[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]…’
As we come to know The Lord more intimately, we come to know ourselves better, because after all, we are found in Him. Some of us may or may not come to a deeper understanding of the world around us, but knowing the one who has all the answers can offer us a peace that only He can give.