Question from a reader:
I’m grieving the loss of my wife. I finished Randy’s book Heaven, and I did find comfort in what I read, but I need to know to the best of someone’s knowledge just how my wife and I will experience life in Heaven. Will we be together? Will we enjoy each other’s company for a while and then go our separate ways? Will she still be my best friend? Will we share our lives together 24/7? Will we live in the same place?
Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:
Grief is so hard, and it’s natural to want answers when we are missing our loved ones.
Randy understands this ache, as he grieves his wife Nanci’s passing and anticipates reunion in God’s presence. He wrote to some friends, “I miss Nanci terribly. I have really been enjoying going through old photos to pick out some for the memorial service. What wonderful memories. I already can’t wait to see her again and have her show me around Heaven, and then after the resurrection when we relocate to the New Earth, for us to both experience it for the first time together. How glorious that will be, and above all just to be with Jesus regardless of where!!!!”
One of my mentors over the years would often talk about hard things and say they are “an opportunity to trust Jesus.” You have been given an opportunity to trust Jesus with your grief and with anticipating what exactly your relationship with your wife will look like in Heaven. The truth is that while we are told many things in Scripture about Heaven (as Randy explains in his book), there are some details we are simply not given. We have to go back to what we do know for sure from God’s Word:
- Our believing loved ones are at home with God in the present Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8)
- In God’s presence, there is fullness of joy and happiness (Psalm 16:11)
- We will see God face to face! (1 John 3:2)
- One day, we will be resurrected and live on a physical New Earth (Revelation 21)
- Marriage as we know it on earth will have ended, having fulfilled its role (Matthew 22:30), but we will all be part of the same marriage, united to our Bridegroom Jesus (Revelation 19:6-9)
- We will be reunited with our believing loved ones and friends in God’s presence (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
- God wants us to anticipate this reunion and receive encouragement from that anticipation: “…so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18)
What will the living arrangements and our day-to-day lives will look like on the New Earth, once we’re reunited with our loved ones? We can speculate, but we just can’t know for sure. Ultimately, it’s an opportunity for us to trust Jesus and rest in His goodness and wisdom. He loves you and your wife more than you can possibly know. He has only good things ahead for all of us who are in Christ. We can trust Him! “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” (Psalm 31:19).
The best thing I can encourage you to do is to bring your grief, worries, and concerns to Jesus. He is ready to listen and to give you the comfort that only His Holy Spirit can provide. He is the God “who comforts the downcast” (2 Corinthians 7:6). “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18). “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
God bless you.For more on the New Earth, see Randy’s book Heaven. You can also browse our resources on Heaven and additional books.