Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Promise of Heaven

In our grieving, we are clinging to God's promise that we will see Micah again. We wish that scripture was more clear about the exact nature of Heaven and of Micah's current life. Is he growing older, or while he be a 9-month old until the Second Coming? Does he need to eat? Does he still like to giggle at dogs? Does he like to throw his food to the dogs? Is he able to swim? Does he sit in the grass and pull the blades? As Micah's parents, we want to know not only that he is happy and safe, but also what life is like for him. While we wish scripture was more clear on the subject, scripture does give us three promises that we can cling to:

1. We will see Micah again in the presence of God.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul says,
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word form the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words."

We do not need to grieve as the world grieves. We live in the hope that God will bring Micah (and all our other loved ones who were in Christ) with Him at the Second Coming. We will be caught up together WITH THEM (our predeceased family and friends) in the clouds. We will ALWAYS be together worshipping the Lord. What sweet assurance--that we can worship Jesus Christ together with our little Micah.

2. We will recognize Micah immediately.

When Jesus was transfigured along with Elijah and Moses before Peter, James and John, these three disciples were able to recognize Elijah and Moses. Matthew 17:1-4. This is noteworthy, of course, because Peter, James and John never personally met Elijah and Moses, and none of them knew what Elijah and Moses looked like.

As described in his book "Heaven," Randy Alcorn believes that we will recognize one another immediately "perhaps as a result of distinguishing characteristics emanating through their physical appearance." Alcorn, Heaven (adapted), page 49. If we will recognize Elijah and Moses through distinguishing characteristics, how much more will I be able to recognize my son Micah?

Will we recognize Micah because of the big muscles he developed from years of swimming? (At only 9 months of age, Micah loved to swim in the lake!) Will we recognize him by his smile? His toothless smile? His "spiky" white blonde hair? I wait in eager anticipation of that first appearance of my son and my first embrace with my son.

3. Our relationship with Micah in Heaven will be much closer than the relationship we had with Micah on earth.

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes how the spiritual gifts of that age will pass away at the second coming. All of our current abilities and gifts will pale in comparison to the new reality that will be the New Heaven.

"...As for prophesies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. ...For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:8-12.

Our sensory perceptions on this earth are imperfect. So also are our closest personal relationships. But Paul says that we will no longer see "in a mirror dimly." During Micah's short life, Heather and I tried to demonstrate our love for our son by how we cared for him. But Micah was obviously too young to communicate with us. We believe that Micah understood, as much as he could, our great love for him. Unfortunately, we were not able to verbalize our love to him.

According to this passage, in Heaven our relationships will be perfect-- we will be able to perfectly communicate our love to our son, and he will be able to understand our great love for him. We look forward to that day when we will be able to hold him again, to tell him how much we love him, and for him to understand our love for him.


  1. This was super encouraging to me! Thank you! I'm still praying for you guys.

  2. Thank you for writing. My husband "happened" to be at Bethlehem on the day of Micah's funeral. He came home and told me there had been a baby who had died but did not know you nor him. We read your blog last night and have since been thinking about you continually.

    I cannot pretend to be helpful except that to say I love to read the descriptions you have of your son. I am challenged by the verses you write as they mingle with earthly tragedy and loss. We are weighed down as we think about what this has all meant. We will keep reading, every post for as long as you write.

  3. Hi, Cory.

    I continue to mourn with you & Heather with wet eyes and a full heart after reading each post. Thank you for the gift of sharing so openly and for allowing us to grieve the loss of Micah along with you. Like Marty, we will keep reading, every post for as long as you write.

    Your post about Heaven is absolutely wonderful.
    Kelly & I still wrestle with similar questions and cling to similar promises concerning our son, Luke. My prayers for you & your family remain focused on gratitude for the blessing of Micah's life & love and for the continuing ministry of the Holy Spirit to your hearts & minds.

    Grace & peace,

  4. a verse that my husband and i really clung to also.. about seeing our son again is..

    2 samuel 12.18-23

    jamie kampman

  5. Cory and Heather,

    I can't tell you how I have grieved for you ever since I heard of the passing of your beloved Michah. Cory, your dad told me of the blog and I have been amazed by your entries. Although it is obvious that your pain is deep, your faith in God is deeper. There is no one other than God who can understand your pain and comfort you at a time like this. Man is just inadequate to do that. You have used many wonderful passages from scripture to find solace. There is a Hymn that has been a source of strength for me and speaks of God's faithfulness: Christ the Solid Rock

    Chorus: On Christ the solid rock I stand
    All other ground is sinking sand
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    Verse 1: My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame
    But wholly lean on Jesus name

    Verse 2: When darkness veils His lovely face
    I rest on His unchanging grace
    In every high and stormy gale
    My anchor holds within the veil

    Verse 3: His oath His covenant His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood
    When all around my soul gives way
    He then is all my hope and stay

    Verse 4 When He shall come with trumpet sound
    O may I then in Him be found
    Dressed in His righteousness alone
    Faultless to stand before the throne

    May these words be of some small comfort to you as God walks you through the grieving process. God bless you and I'll keep praying for you.

    Bill Arvold

  6. I know of your very sad story through two high school friends: one who works at Children's Hospital and the other who goes to your church.

    Several years ago, a woman from my church died from cancer. At her funeral service, I was moved by a poem printed in the front cover of the program and kept a copy. I just found it while cleaning out my office and it made me think of you...

    O THINK! To step on shore,
    and that shore Heaven:
    To take hold of a hand
    and that God's hand!
    To breathe a new air,
    and find it celestial air!
    To feel invigorated,
    And to know it immortality!

    O think! to pass from storm,
    and the tempest,
    To one unbroken calm!
    To wake up,
    and find it glory!

    [Source unknown]