Monday, December 15, 2014

Have you ever missed Christmas

Have you ever missed Christmas? I don’t mean forgetting the dates. Our parents and Sunday school teachers did a wonderful job in instilling those dates deep into our conscience. I mean waking up on the 27th and asking yourself what the commotion on the past two days was all about!

Christmas, like Easter is very easy to miss. I missed my Easter last year. I had travelled to the rural village a day before the holidays, loaded with a whole package of solar lighting fittings. In my excitement to light up our homestead and prove to my mother that I was such a wonderful and caring daughter I quickly went about organising for someone to handle the connections.

There was a handyman who did odd jobs and lived a couple of miles from our village. Early Friday morning I woke up and drove to pick him up. In two hours he was done with my connections plus the usual neighbourly chit chat over a cup of tea. I drove him back to his village. On my way back home, at around 11am, the narrow road was suddenly flooded by a procession of Roman Catholic believers. They were carrying their mini crosses and singing very solemnly. This was a commemoration of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Suddenly it hit me; this was Easter and alas, in all my rushing up and down the road I had forgotten about it.

At that particular point I felt like the disciple Peter. I had forsaken the One person who ever gave His life up for me. As I held on to my stirring wheel, with my foot on the brake to allow the church procession to pass, I felt so much shame. What was I doing on the road on a day like this? I was a Christian of many years; but on this day I was at the wrong place and doing the wrong thing altogether. I had missed Easter!

This is not uniquely my spot alone. You could miss Christmas too. By not keeping your mind focused on the One Person most important at Christmas you could miss it altogether.

The two gentlemen walking to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-34) nearly missed Jesus who was walking right alongside them. They were busy talking and pitifully wallowing over the events leading to his death. Their minds and conversation were focused on who Jesus was before he died - the man from Nazareth, instead of who he had said he would be – the King and Messiah of all nations. Had Jesus not spoken to them and revealed himself they would have gone on into Emmaus still enveloped in their confusion and ignorance.

We stand to lose a lot by not paying careful attention to details. Like a young man who went fishing with his uncle, an event he had been looking forward to for days. As he got the hang of what fishing was all about, he suddenly surprised everyone and himself by catching his first fish. But while the fish was still in the net by the water, he turned around and called out to his friends to come and have a look at his catch. That momentary side look was all the fish needed to dive back into the water and swim away from its captor.

Or in the case of a young lady who was so sure she had finally met the man of her dreams. But unfortunately she would not let go of her other boyfriends, and only to lose her lucky catch.

I am saddened when we attend conferences and participants refuse to heed to the call by preachers to take some time alone to reflect on the messages preached. That time of reflection is for most participants a time to go shopping! The local church has little success in this area of reflection time too, as parishioners are always rushing out to feed their grumbling stomachs.

All humanity and creation is centered around the birth of Jesus Christ. He came to this world for us and we must not miss the meaning of Christmas. Jesus was not just passing through our world or visiting; but he came to us so that we may experience a new beginning, so that we may have hope and so that we will experience peace and joy even while living in a troubled world. No, we must not miss Christmas by not paying attention to the events which brought us the King of Kings, our Redeemer and the Rock of our salvation.
A Song of Praise
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
    God makes salvation
    its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates
    that the righteous nation may enter,
    the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.

Isaiah 26:1-3

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dear Daughter

Allow me to introduce myself: I am Almighty God. There is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me. I AM WHO I AM, (the self-existent one). I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of bondage, the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. I never grow weak or weary. I am merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abounding in goodness and truth.

The thoughts that I think toward you are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. I have examined your heart and know everything about you. I know when you sit down or stand up. I know your thoughts. I see you when you travel and when you rest at home. I know everything you do. I know what you’re going to say even before you say it. I made all the delicate, inner parts of your body and knit you together in your mother’s womb. I made you wonderfully complex!  My workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it! I watched you as you were being formed and woven together in the dark of the womb. I saw you before you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your life time. I made you, and I will carry you along and save you. I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

Pay attention! For you are my servant. I, the Lord, made you, and I will not forget you. I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free!
But now, listen to the Lord who created you. I formed you and I say: Do not be afraid. For I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through difficulty, I will be with you. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be. I, yes I, am the Lord and your Savior. No one can snatch you out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Yes, all this is true, but it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do. For I’m about to do something new. I will put a desire in your heart to worship me. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

Adapted from the following Bible texts:
Genesis 17:1
Isaiah 46:9
Exodus 3:14
Exodus 20:2
Exodus 34:6-7
Isaiah 40 : 28
Jeremiah 29 :11
Psalm 139 :1-4
Psalm 139 : 13-17
Isaiah 44 :21-22
Isaiah 43: 1-2; 5; 10-11; 13
Isaiah 41:10
Isaiah 42:18
Jeremiah 32:40
Isaiah 46:3-4

Written by a friend of mine, Robin Zaleski

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Holy Spirit Pursues Us In Love

‘If it had not been for the love of God the Father looking down upon me in my utter ruin and providing a perfect atonement for me in the death of His own Son on the Cross of Calvary, I would be headed for hell today.

If it had not been for the love of Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, looking upon me in my utter ruin and, in obedience to the Father, putting aside all the glory of heaven for all the shame of earth and taking my place, the place of the curse, upon the Cross of Calvary and pouring out His life, utterly for me, I would be headed for hell today.

But, what of the love of the Holy Spirit? He was sent by the Father in answer to the prayer of the Son (John 14:16), leading Him to seek me out in my utter blindness and ruin. He followed me day after day, week after week, and year after year, though I persistently turned a deaf ear to His pleadings, following me through paths of sin where it must have been agony for that holy one to go, until at last I listened.

He opened my eyes to see my utter ruin and then revealed Jesus to me as just the Saviour who would meet my every need, and then He enabled me to receive this Jesus as my own Saviour.

If it had not been for this patient, long-suffering, never-tiring, infinitely tender love of the Holy Spirit, I would be headed for hell today.

Oh, the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence or a power or an illumination but a person, just as real as God the Father or Jesus Christ His Son’.

Acknowledging the Person of the Holy Spirit
Extract from the book, ‘The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit’ by R.A. Torrey. Zondervan Publishers

Do Not Despair, Pray

How does one overcome despair? The secret is to pray. When nothing changes, you pray some more. And when nothing still happens, you pray even more. In fact you keep on praying until the cloud of despair disappears, not just when it lifts up a bit or shifts position, but until the sun shines bright again. Hallelujah! That is how we overcome despair.

In 2 Kings 4, the story of the Shunammite woman, Prophet Elisha told his servant, Gehazi. “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.” V29

The boy was dead. But not to the Prophet who knew and believed in the God of life, Jehovah El Shaddai God Almighty, The God of Israel Jehovah El Elyon The Most High God. This is the God who is the dwelling place of every believer. ‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust”.

This God can be trusted in any situation, no matter how despairing. So, the servant ran, avoiding any distractions on the way, stopping for nothing and no one. His agenda was to reach the dead boy and lay the Prophet’s staff on him. When we pray, we must not allow for distractions, we must not stop praying, we must not lose heart, we must not allow the devil to plant more seeds of discouragement. We must focus on who God is, meditate on what He says in His Word and pray out the Word in agreement.

Because He lives within us, the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to intercede for us with groans and moans that words cannot express, once we cry out to Him for help. (Romans 8:26). The servant did his running, the staff was laid on the boy’s dead body but the Prophet was the one to come and breathe life into the boy. We must do the praying, fasting and declaring of God’s Word upon our situation and then allow the Holy Spirit to breathe change, life into our dead or dark situation.

‘He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God’. (Romans 8:27)

So, next time you think of giving up, despairing, think instead of who God is – God Most High. Think of who Jesus is – your Redeemer, Saviour, Rock of Refuge. Think of the Holy Spirit – the Great Intercessor who speaks and reveals the Word of truth to your spirit and brings life to your body and situation. Praise the Lord!

Friday, October 31, 2014

God Says It Is Well

Sometimes when people go into hospital they die. The following morning after I had been admitted the woman in the next bed gasped and died. All night long she had been groaning and moaning in her sedated state. Even though I am not new to people dying around me, this incident however shook me.

I was moved from that room on the same morning. Two nights later, the nurse came for her usual routine blood pressure and sugar readings. My blood pressure was low; in fact it had been steadily dropping all day long. She became concerned and I went into a panic. “Lord, what is happening to me? Am I dying?” I cried out silently as I sat in my bed.

Immediately the passage on the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:8-37), came to mind. It didn’t matter that it was around 1.00am. I grabbed my bible and started to read. I wrote down some notes and here is how the Lord encouraged that night.

§  The woman knew who to run to with her crisis. She ran to the Prophet Elisha. We run to the Lord Jesus, our Saviour, Healer and Deliverer.
§  This woman had birthed a son, after the Prophet spoke the blessing on her. God gives, the devil steals. John 10:10 reads, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.
§  The devil comes to steal what the Lord would have given us. Just as he had stolen the life of the Shunammite’s son, the devil was also threatening to steal my life even though the hospital was doing all it could to save me.
§  God has an army ready to combat any of the devil’s evil against us. As Daniel waited for his answer from God (Daniel 10:11-13) the enemy grabbed it and withheld it from him. But God sent the Archangel Michael to fight the devil and retrieve the answer to prayer which Daniel was waiting for.
§  Even to this day, God has never lost a single battle to devil. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11). And ‘If God be for us, who can be against us’ (Romans 8:31)
§  We must always declare our healing, even before it is evident. The Shunammite kept answering, “It is well, it is well”. When the Lord Jehovah Rapha is your Lord and Healer, all is well!
§  Psalm 103:1-5 reads, “Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
§  The Prophet saw the Shunammite riding towards him from afar and was immediately concerned. God hears our cries for help even before we utter them. (Isaiah 65:24)

God’s power is revealed in His Word. If we would trust in the Lord and lean upon Him then no evil will overpower us. God is always faithful to His Word. One of my favourite scriptures is 2 Timothy 1:12, ‘I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day’.

When morning came I was not only alive but much stronger. The doctor came and prescribed a lower dosage on one of the drugs I was taking, as that was the reason for the lower blood pressure. I was also discharged that same morning. Praise be to God, as I continue to recover from home. All is well in Christ, dear brethren. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Could Have Had a Stroke but for the Grace of God

I am not a person that loves to frequent doctors’ rooms or dentists’ surgeries. I have a prayer that I utter once in a while; “Lord, when you know I am about to kill myself, please rush me to the doctor! Amen”. It is a very silly prayer but I thank God, my Father for His faithfulness even when we are downright stupid. So, by the grace of God, in the month of October I surprised myself by voluntarily going for a very long overdue dental visit.

After that visit, I decided to go for another long overdue Pap smear test (a test that detects cervical cancer). It was when I went for the Pap smear results that I happened to mention to my doctor that I seemed to be drinking far too much water especially at night. I was waking up every two hours to use the bathroom and drink about three glasses of water. I would get so thirsty that my heart felt like it had a wound in it. The doctor proceeded to take a reading of my blood sugar level. The reading was at 28mM, five times higher than normal! I had to be hospitalized immediately.

The warning signs had been there for a full week and even months before, though at a lower scale. I just kept ignoring them. Since I am already hypertensive, I kept telling myself that I do not want to be diabetic as well. So in my own naive way, I tried to deal with a problem that badly needed the doctor’s professional and urgent attention.
The article I have attached below encouraged me to tell others about listening to ill-health warning signs.

Could you miss warning signs of a heart attack

Stats show that five South Africans have a heart attack every hour. Worryingly, some don’t even realise it. Priscilla Chandro, 42, was one of them.

“As I tucked my daughter Anusha, then four, into bed that evening, I couldn’t wait for a bit of downtime and an early night. But, when I went to bed, I just couldn’t settle. I had a nasty aching pain in my head. It wasn’t like a normal headache, and it wasn’t just my head that hurt – my arms were aching, too.

After an hour of tossing and turning, I decided to take some painkillers. I felt a wave of heat go through my body, so I lay on the couch before going into the kitchen. It was only Anusha and me in the house, as I’m separated from her father. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor, looking up at the ceiling. I don’t know how long I was out for, but I was certain I had fainted. Although I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, I knew something was very wrong.
I managed to get up and call my parents, who are both retired nurses and live nearby. My dad came round immediately and called an ambulance. By then, I was cold and shivery, and the paramedics suggested I had flu. I didn’t really agree with them, but I didn’t argue. They didn’t do an ECG (a test that measures the electrical activity and rhythm of the heart), although they did offer to take me to hospital. But I didn’t want to be a nuisance, so I refused.

The next morning, I woke up with a dull ache in the middle of my chest. As it was one of my days off from my part-time admin job, I went to see my GP, who carried out an ECG. When she saw the tracings of my heart’s activity, I could tell she was worried, especially as she then called the local hospital. However, they didn’t seem too concerned, so she sent me home, advising me to go to the emergency room if I still felt bad.

That weekend, Anusha went to her dad’s. On the Saturday night, I had planned to go dancing with friends. The ache in my chest was still there but, as I’d seen my doctor, I tried to ignore it. But, when it hadn’t gone by Sunday lunchtime, I became really anxious and went to the emergency room. They ran more tests, and then the cardiologist came into the cubicle I was in, looking serious. I can’t describe the shock I felt when I heard that I’d had a massive heart attack on the Thursday night and was lucky to be alive. I burst into tears. 

Surely I would have known? Where were the typical symptoms, like crushing chest pain and breathlessness? An angiogram (an X-ray test using dyes and a camera to show blood-flow through the arteries and veins) showed a total blockage in one of my coronary arteries. The cardiologist then told me that my heart looked as though it had been repeatedly damaged for years. Two days later, I had an operation to have a stent (a small wire-mesh tube) fitted to open up the blocked artery. I spent the night in hospital, and went home two days later.
Now, five years later, I’m enjoying a normal life. I don’t do formal exercise, but I’m active and enjoy nothing better than a few hours on the dance floor. I have a healthy diet and take my medication, which consists of aspirin, a statin, a beta-blocker and fish-oil tablets. I also have regular check-ups.

My heart attack put me on a life-changing journey. I followed my passion and set up my own karaoke business, and trained to be an energy healer, too. I now volunteer regularly to raise awareness about issues that can lead to the misdiagnosis of a heart attack.
Like me, many women imagine that crippling chest pain is the main symptom of a heart attack. I want every woman to know that their symptoms might be different (see right), and that if they experience them or feel anything’s wrong, to seek medical help immediately”.          -           September 2014 issue

Friday, August 29, 2014

To All The Women Grieving For Their Loved Ones

I watched as my fellow village women gathered around my mother as she cried her heart out while the pallbearers carried the body of my late sister to the grave site. I said, 'Lord, do you not see this? Has my mother not suffered enough; six of her children now to the earth, plus the husband, does she have to go through this?' And the Spirit of God rebuked me saying, 'Only I know what your mother is able to endure.'

The Spirit spoke to me about a woman in the Bible we can all learn from when it comes to grieving for a loved one. That woman is Mary the mother of Jesus.

She experienced pain at the deepest level we can all imagine. When she gave birth to her little boy Jesus, as per the Hebrew tradition she took him to the Temple for dedication. While the Priest was performing the dedication rites accompanied by the necessary words, he also threw in a very disturbing word, something no mother wants to hear. The Priest said to Mary, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against; (and yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also); that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2:34-35

What strong words to say to a young mother who just had her first child! But for Mary this was not the first time that she had been spoken to in such a manner. About two years ago she had been minding her own business when an angel appeared before her and saluted her with these words, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you". Luke 1:28 The Bible goes on to say that Mary was perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of a salutation this was.

But the angel reassured her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end". Luke 1:30-33

Mary was worried about becoming pregnant; because as a virgin betrothed to a young man named Joseph, she was patiently waiting for her wedding day.
This time the angel did not reassure her saying; "Do not worry the baby will come nine months after your wedding night!"
The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the Holy Child shall be called the Son of God". Luke 1:35

I went to Bible College at a late age. At the end of every semester exam I would come out with my head throbbing and blood pressure high. It never got better, even at the end of the very last semester, after four years of studying. Hence I can empathize with Mary. The more she tried to understand her predicament, the more perplexed she became.

But by the grace of God; I succeeded in attaining my Diploma in Pastoral Studies. Mary also overcame her fear and ran to her relative Elizabeth where a miracle was in the making through the birth of John. For the angel had said to Mary, "And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month...For nothing is impossible with God". (Luke 1:26-37)

The Holy Spirit overshadowed her as promised and Mary gave birth to her little boy, Jesus. At the appointed time she took the boy to the Temple for dedication. That is where we meet her today as the story of her life unfolds. With the help of her carpenter husband, Joseph, she raises her son.

Other than working in the carpentry business like his father, Jesus took a keen interest in his Jewish religion and soon became a keen student at the Temple courts. At the age of thirty he became one of the most sought after evangelists. He was a great Teacher and miracles portraying the power of the Holy Spirit were evident.

Many were his teachings, and many people received salvation into the Kingdom of God. Many were also healed from all kinds of diseases and afflictions.
But as this Teacher, Jesus the son of Mary, became more and more popular so did those who opposed his teachings.  His teachings conflicted with their religious values. Their hatred of him grew by the day, until finally they decided to kill him.

So we find the prophecy given to Mary by the Priest Simeon in Luke 2:34-35 coming to fulfillment. Mary's heart was about to be pierced.
They came for Jesus on the night soon after the Passover as he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives. They knew he would be there that night as it was his custom to go there and pray.

After seizing him they took him to Pilate for a well rehearsed trial. They found him guilty, even though he was not. He was condemned to die by hanging on a cross. They beat him up, severely, spit on him, mocked him, called him all kind of names and then put a heavy wooden cross on his bruised back and made him carry it Mount of Golgotha.

Where was Jesus' mother while all this happening? At home; unaware of the rubble? Away visiting relatives? No, she was right there in the midst of the mass of onlookers watching her son, the Great Teacher, suffer. With every blow they struck him, Mary's heart was being pierced; her insides were being shredded to pieces. I have seen pictures of lynching on television; they are horrific. Mary had to endure that; but the worst was yet to come.

When they got to Golgotha they laid his body against the cross and drove long heavy nails right through his hands and feet into the cross. Then they lifted him on the cross for the whole community to see; and thus they hung him. Mary was there at his feet, barely able to look up at the tortured frame of her son; the son that God had given her. The son who had performed so many miracles in the short three years he had evangelized the country of Judea. The son who was not just hers and Joseph’s; but who was in reality the Son of God.

He had the power and authority to call down angels to come and stop this horrific torture before him but did not. Everything that was happening had to happen because this was the will of his Father in heaven for him. He had to die for the sins of the world; that we all humanity would be forgiven because of his precious blood shed on the cross at Calvary for us.

Did Mary know this? Probably; but that did not take away the sharpness of the pain she was feeling. So Jesus beckoned her close so he could make eye contact. Then he also called John, the disciple he loved very much. To both he whispered, 'Woman, here is your son and son here is your mother'. John 19:26-27. Why; because John was the closest of the disciples to Jesus. Over the years Jesus had shared his deepest thoughts with his mother and his closest disciple. In that darkest hour he was reassuring them that both would be able to comfort and give each other strength.

Then his crucifiers took a crown of thorns and shoved it on his head, making his head bleed. Then they took a sharp spear and drove it through the side of his belly; both water and blood oozed out. John had to hold Mary tight lest she collapsed at the weight of her son's imminent death. Then Jesus died. Thirty three years of his life on earth as Mary's son had suddenly come to an end.

What would you say about that? If you were Mary where would go with that anguish and pain? To the Cross of Calvary.
God has not spared us from the pain of losing a loved one to death. He did not spare Mary, the mother of His own dear Son. But in whatever He has allowed us to endure, He has also given us strength through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in us.

On our own we are frail and weak, but because of the Holy Spirit in us we are comforted, strengthened and able to stand the storm. The Holy Spirit will reveal the Word of God and give us hope despite the bleakness of our circumstances.

Three days after Jesus was buried, Mary and the other women in Jesus' life went early to the grave site. With spices in their hands what did they expect to find at the tomb? Luke 24. Mary remembered snippets of the conversations she had had with Jesus; that on the third day he would rise from the dead.

Women have had it hard right from child birth. But the same God who is able to sustain the woman through childbirth is also able to sustain her through grief and pain. He will never leave her nor forsake her, for He is the same God yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:5b, 8)

When we pass through the valley of Baca (Weeping) we make it a spring of Joy. Psalm 84:5-7, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you (Lord), who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion”.
Yes, you can smile even in the midst of grief; especially when God brings a wonderful memory about your loved one. That is how healing begins.

My mother is strong today because she believes in God. She has faith that someday in heaven she will be reunited with her husband and children. He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.(Philippians 1:6)

Woman, your grief and pain does not mark the end of your life. The devil has not won. Trust God and He will give you the peace and strength you did not know was in you. He will keep her in perfect peace she whose mind is steadfast, because she trusts in Him. (Isaiah 26: 3)

Job, at the tragic death of all his children said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)

King David at the illness and death of his son said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live. But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22-23)

Jesus to Martha and Mary when Lazarus died said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die”. (John 11:25-26) Even though we will die in the flesh our soul will live with Christ eternally.

Finally, we have a promise in Rev 21:3-4 that there will come a time when every tear will be wiped away. ‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

No more tears, no more grief, no more pain. Praise the Lord!