Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
As our home Bible study wound to a close, a young mother ran out to her car for a package she’d forgotten. She left her two-year-old daughter with half a dozen adults and children in the living room. But when Berea saw Mommy leave, her face froze with panic. She ran as quickly as her little legs could carry her and stretched in vain for the doorknob. Her screams were laden with terror, as if she believed Mommy would never to return.
One of the other women lifted Berea into her arms and tried to calm her. But it was no use. The toddler wanted no one but Mommy. And mommy was gone.
A few moments later, Berea’s mother returned. When she opened the door to her daughter’s inconsolable grief, she lifted Berea into her arms, rubbed her back and spoke tenderly into her ear. I smiled as the child quickly quieted down. Mommy had returned. All was well.
The next morning as I spent time with the Lord in prayer, my thoughts drifted back to that pitiable image of Berea screaming for her mother. And a sobering thought spread through my meditation: What must it be like for those who rejected Christ all their lives and then find themselves on the other side of death's door – knowing with horrifying certainty – Father has left and is never coming back?
Never coming back.
I cannot begin to imagine the unending inconsolable grief, the unyielding anguish of those who know they will remain on the other side of the door.
The good news, of course, is it doesn’t have to be that way. Those who love Jesus, who serve Him and call Him their Savior can rest in Christ’s promise: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (St. John 14:1-3).
Forever is a good place if we’re on the right side of the door.