One moment little Miss Coache was here, and then she was gone. On Sunday afternoon, Jan. 17, her mother, aware that the sleep monitor attached to her bed wasn’t responding, went to check on her and found her without a heart-beat. Some would call it a crib death, but to her family and this great-grandfather, it’s called a disaster.
The vivacious sweetheart was on loan to Justin and Lyndsay for 14 months. “Let the little children come to me,” Jesus said, “for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Sunday, January 17, will always be etched in our minds as the day Charlotte heard that call. It has broken our hearts, but heaven cheered. Another of God’s special creations had come home.
It took only a moment for Charlotte to discover a new state of being, the reality of which we can only speculate. One can imagine that by now she has met Jesus up close and personal, joined with God’s people in worship and song, and basked in the glories of a heavenly realm that could only be conceived by the mind of God. She now knows what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “The imperishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ … Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
And it’s because of Jesus, and our rest in the providence of God, that we are comforted. In the words of Horatio Spafford, who had just lost his wife and four daughters to an accident on the high seas,
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
There are those who will tell you our belief in an eternal state is nothing more than a figment of our religious imagination. They will tell you there is no God, no heaven, no morning sunrise after death. And for them, that is true. This life is as good as it gets; this is the only heaven they are ever going to know.
But to those for whom Jesus is Lord, there is substance to our faith. The Apostle Paul, who had himself gone from being a religious fanatic to becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, wrote, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” The change that has come to each of our lives has given us an assurance, a peace of mind that can be found only in Him. Life after death is no longer a threat but, indeed, a change of state we look forward to with excited anticipation. “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you … that where I am, there you may be also.”
That about which we can only dream is now, for little Charlotte, a glorious reality. The battle’s over, sweetheart. Welcome home!