Unfortunately, death is familiar to all and felt by every living thing. Until you’ve lost someone close to you, you can’t fully experience all that death brings. You won’t feel its full weight. We all have a loved one who has passed away or at the very least, knows of someone. My mother recently passed away. She was my role model. My favorite person. The past few months have brought extreme sadness, but they’ve also brought a new perspective. They’ve brought a new desire for heaven, an urgency for the good news to be shared, and the humbling and sobering fact of how sinful and little I am.

Through this season of walking through fresh hurt, truths in the Bible seem “more true.” What Jesus commands us to do seems “more mandatory.” And heaven is but a breath away. These biblical truths appear more real. I feel their weight, and a deeper understanding has come. So here are four guiding truths that we know to be absolutely true:

Don’t Store Treasures Here Below

Matthew 6:19-21 says:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

It’s a simple fact – you don’t take anything from this earth with you into heaven, not even your earthly body, for all is vanity. But how much more so is that apparent when you lose someone whom you love? Someone whom you lived with? A significant other? A sibling? A parent?

So the verse begs the question, how can we store up treasures in heaven? If we treasure Christ and live a life of worship unto Him, then our heart is for Him and for the things of heaven. Our heart is for others, choosing to put their needs before our own. Matthew 10:42 says “whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” To receive treasures in heaven, it is more about the “who” we are serving rather than the “what.”

Our job is to stay solely focused and in love with serving our Creator. We all should be asking the Lord to shift our perspective on this from an earthly one to a heavenly one.

Run Your Race, Hard

People will remember you by your legacy. Did you live your life with passion? What did you spend your free time doing? Did you spend your days sharing the joy and love of Jesus with others? My mother left behind a beautiful and rich legacy – full of love, light and joy! 

Our time on earth is momentary. Ecclesiastes 5:2 says it’s nothing but a vapor. “God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.” Run. Only God knows the minute of our welcome home. All the choices we make have an impact, some impact is greater than others; us giving our hearts to Jesus holds the greatest impact of all. And telling others about Christ is essential to running the race. You run a bit, tell someone the good news, run together a little farther, tell someone else about the good news, repeat. (Hebrews 12:1-2.)

Long For Heaven

Our hearts long for something far greater than this world has to offer.

Earth simply cannot provide it. We can only experience glimpses of heaven here; we long for heaven and for our creator. Death not only confirms that this is not our home, but that we weren’t made to live with heartache, sickness and suffering. 2 Corinthians 5:2 says, “We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.”

Have you longed for heaven like that before? Have you ever felt weary? Verse 6 goes on to say “we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.” 

I know when I’m stuck in bed with sickness, I long to be made well! I make a list of everything I’m going to do once I feel better. How much more does our spirit long to be “made well” forever? How much more does our spirit long to be with its Savior? It’s easy for our human mind to keep us grounded in the things of the earth and on what it cannot see, but our innermost being longs to be with Him. The condition of our soul is beautifully expressed throughout the book of Psalms, where many verses speak of our souls longing to be with Jesus. “I stretch out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.” (Psalm 143:6) 

Death is not the end

Death proves there is an end to human life.  God is immortal, and we are not. What a simple thing to note and understand! But yet again, death (especially the death of a loved one) proves this in a way nothing else can. Death on earth is not the end for believers of Christ but rather just the beginning of new life. (John 3:16) Everlasting life in Heaven consists of worshipping Jesus, reuniting with those who’ve run the race before us and experiencing the fullness of life that earth could never offer.

I pray you feel a fresh sense of hope and purpose renewed. I pray you feel inspired to live life through these truths that death proves.  If we allow death to teach us how to live, it’s this – love the people set before you, engage in the present moments and share all that you have to give, all for the namesake of Christ.