(I wrote this early last fall as my father neared his triumphant entrance into heaven. That it would be triumphant wasn't particularly obvious on this side of things. To the contrary. But my father was not counting on earning his own entrance or parade in heaven--my dad was relying on Jesus to take care of all that. So am I. How about you?)
Regarding my dad, I like what David wrote:
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16, italics mine.)
Over the years of my life in Christ, there have been several times when my awareness of God’s intimate knowledge of my life brought me to tears. He didn’t simply cross His fingers and hope I would do well with what I’ve got, He looked out over my life to come and knit into me all He purposed for all His glory—nothing less.
And would I have too much time or not enough? Too many days or too few? Neither. I would live and breathe the exact number necessary for God to say, “Yes, I got it right. . .naturally. I am satisfied.”
And so it is with my dad. It was all in the book before.
On this day when my father’s body is doing poorly and is leaning in the opposite direction of his spirit, I’m comforted knowing that God is fully aware of the days—my dad’s days. I imagine a heavenly crowd gathering together in anticipation of his arrival, with balloons and signs drawn up—“We’ve been expecting you!” and “Welcome home, John!” And maybe one of the more witty angels will hold up a sign that reads, “Surprise!”
I think my dad would love that.