Earlier this year, we lost my dad. It was, without a doubt, the most traumatic experience of my life. Even if you know it is coming some day, like we dad all during my dad’s battle with cancer, nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming grief that grips you when you lose a loved one. Despite all that, I remember very distinctly feeling held, protected and loved by God on that day and in the days and weeks afterwards. Even in the lowest and darkest moments, I could feel Him surrounding me. I genuinely don’t know how I would have got through that experience without my faith. I always thought that something like that might shake my faith and make me feel like God wasn’t there. But it was completely the opposite.
That is, until some of the more practical and legal stuff began to be attended to some time after my father’s death. I won’t go into all the ins and outs of it but suffice to say that things were very awkward and difficult due to an extremely strained relationship with his wife. The upshot was that my dad had not made a will, despite knowing for many months that the cancer would eventually take his life. He hadn’t even left us a letter or anything telling us how he felt about us or what he hoped for us in the future. I was devastated. Years of past hurt came flooding back and things I thought I had dealt with suddenly reared their ugly heads. I began to feel distant from God. How could He do this to me? Not only had he allowed my dad to be taken away from me but I had been left with nothing to show for the relationship that I had fought so hard for so long to eventually enjoy with him in the last few years…no sentimental keepsakes to call my own. Nothing.
Now, it’s not often that God speaks to me directly. But I guess at this time God knew how much I needed to hear His voice. And so one day, when reading through a bible passage that had been preached about in church the previous Sunday (Ephesians 2:4-10), He spoke these words to me: “Remember that the most remarkable inheritance awaits us in heaven, won for us by the blood of Christ.”
Through what He did for us on the cross, we get to share Jesus’ inheritance as God’s son for all eternity. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6-7)
God wanted to remind me that day that I truly have the most amazing inheritance to look forward to…much more precious than any possession or amount of money that could ever have been left to me by my earthly father. But the best part is that I will get to enjoy those riches WITH my earthly father when we are reunited in heaven. And having been witness to my dad acknowledging Jesus as his Lord and Saviour just a week before his death is the greatest parting gift I could ever have received.