Present with the Lord

By: Jill Briscoe

One night I was busy putting our two oldest grandchildren to bed. Dan—nine, and Mike—eight, stripped off their clothes, leaving them in two little heaps on the floor. Bath time was fun—and wet, as usual—and soon pajamas were on, and the two small boys were tucked into bed. Bible verses were read and prayers said, and my hand was on the light switch before Dan said, “Nana, I was watching TV tonight. There was a funeral, and the box (casket) was in the church.”  

“Nana,” he continued with a note of fear in his young voice, “How long will I be in the box?”

I came back from the door and sat on his bed. Reaching for his Bible and turning to 2 Cor. 5:8, I said “Not one second, Dan. It says here; ‘Absent from the body…present with the Lord’”

He looked relieved, though puzzled, “Then, Nana,” he said, “what goes in the box?”

I looked down at the floor. There lay the two small piles of clothes, undisturbed, where the kids had left them before their baths. 

Look, Dan and Mike,” I said, pointing to the clothes. These clothes are like our bodies. The real person—the real Dan or the real Mike—lives inside the clothes. When your body dies, it’s like the clothes—the body—dropping off. That’s what goes in the box!”

There was silence as they absorbed this piece of new information. Their eyes were fastened on the clothes.

“Will we be naked then, Nana?” asked Mike, ever the practical one.

“No, Mike,” I laughed, “God will give us glory clothes that will make our old clothes look like rags.”

“Does everyone know about this?” inquired Mike, awed.

“No, Mike,” I answered, “that’s why Papa Stu and Nana and all the family are busy telling everyone.”

“Joey doesn’t know,” Mike said. (Joey was a cute little Babylonian boy—one of Mike’s good friends at school.) “I’ll tell him tomorrow.”

“What will you tell him, Mike?”

“I’ll tell him he doesn’t have to be in the box,” he said simply.

The next day Mike told Joey. He sang him a song about the Lord and His salvation and that we don’t have to worry about dying if we know Jesus. Lord, I pray Joey is the first of many to hear the songs of Zion our sweet grandchildren will sing, in whatever foreign land they find themselves in the future.

Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.