I just got off the phone with my brother. His wife's father passed away last night.
Death is never an easy thing. Though, hearing how sweet his passage was made me cry. And knowing my sister-in-law will miss her daddy makes me cry. And my brother and his daughters will miss him too.
But even as those who loved Poppy will miss him and shed tears, their tears are not without hope. In the first book of Thessalonians, Paul talks about grieving, but not like men without hope. If you believe this life is all that exists and life ends at the grave, then you mourn and grieve without hope.
But there is hope. Heaven is waiting for us. Poppy is there now, no longer suffering, dancing before God. How do I know this? Poppy didn't earn it. He didn't live a perfect life. He sinned just like the rest of us. But he humbled himself before God and asked for forgiveness. And because Jesus died in our place, God forgave him. All Poppy had to do was ask for forgiveness and accept Jesus' payment. That's all any of us need to do. Simple. Yet hard. You have to humble yourself. Admit you are wrong, a sinner. Then ask for God's forgiveness.
But the peace that comes when you are forgiven is amazing. And the hope of being in God's loving presence for eternity gives you strength in this life.
Poppy, many will miss you. But we rejoice that you are no longer in pain and that you are with your Father.