The Other Side

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

— Psalm 23:4

My sister Christine lives in a small Wisconsin town on the outskirts of Milwaukee.  She and her husband John are both teachers at their church’s Lutheran elementary school where their children attend. The congregation they serve is an old church with a cemetery on its property that has headstones dating back to the early 1800’s. 

The home my sister lives in is a former parsonage. It is an old house that is a short walk from the church and school – a walk that takes a person right past the church cemetery.

I asked my young nephew, “Are you ever scared to walk by the cemetery when come home from school?”

He confidently shook his head no and replied, “Of course not!”

When I asked why, he explained, “I’m never afraid because I know that home is on the other side.”

We just celebrated the Ascension of our Lord this past Thursday. Jesus’ ascension assures you that your Savior is preparing a new, heavenly home for you.  Jesus said,

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).

Life is a journey “through the valley of the shadow of death”.  Heartache, trouble, sadness, disappointment, and tragedy infect our lives in this sinful world.  The struggles of life often cause us fear and despair.

In such times, remember that this life is not your home – it is a walk through the cemetery. Your heavenly home is on the other side. The psalmist said, “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty if our strength endures yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow” (Psalm 90:10). And, after your earthly life, your eternal life begins in your eternal home. 

When your life is difficult, remember that the journey is short, and it is temporary. And, thanks to Jesus, home is waiting for you on the other side. 

 Written by Staff Minister Brent Bitter