A week ago today, February 25, 2014, at 5:15 a.m. I lost my mother-n-law.......for a while.  She did pass away, but because of Christ's victory over death, hell, and the grave - and His promise of seeing her again (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) I have Hope.

Audrey's life and her passing have reinforced in a gigantic way in my journey what life is all about - relationships.

There are certain relationships I can only begin to tell you how deeply meaningful they are to me.  Every time I am around these certain individuals like my wife, my mom, my dad, my brother, and a handful of friends - I can feel the tightness of joy around my heart until it is released by a joke, hug, or shared experience. Through Audrey's life and passing I have been challenged to value even more these relationships and any that might develop into these kind.

However, there is a relationship, I can hear Audrey instructing, that needs continual cultivating - a relationship with Christ Jesus, The Creator, The Word of God. There is not an area in our life that does not benefit from maturing in a relationship with Christ Jesus. I have learned this AND that although Christians are promised the joy of reuniting with their loved ones, that is NOT the purpose for which Christ came to earth.  He came for you and me.

So, as the wonderful words were being spoken at Audrey's service, I also heard the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, "True, Chad, you will see her again.  But I came, died, and rose again so you could have eternity with me first.  Your loved ones are an added benefit because I am that gracious. I love you so much I made the way for you to be with me forever."

Relationships - value them and develop them into the cherished possession that you CAN TAKE to Heaven. The kind of possession that "moth and rust" cannot destroy (Matthew 6:19). The Relationship (you and Christ) - cultivate it always to keep an appreciation for Christ's sacrifice and excitement about the Hope He brings.