Having Loved Ones in Heaven Makes Our Anticipation of Eternity Stronger Than Ever

Last month I had a conversation over Zoom with Steve Silver of Men’s Golf Fellowship. Steve is a great brother who founded a ministry that uses golf to help men grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Steve’s wife Sandy went to be with Jesus last December, just three months before Nanci died. We can both understand each other’s pain of loss, but also the intense anticipation for and comfort of Heaven now that our wives reside there. Because of the unique way Steve worded some of his questions, they prompted answers I've given to the same questions to come out somewhat differently. He had finished reading the Heaven book, which prompted some of his questions:

  • What is the difference between the present Heaven and the eternal Heaven?
  • How are those in Heaven spending their time?
  • Are our loved ones in Heaven aware of us? Do they think of us?
  • Who are loved ones in Heaven spending time with? Are they meeting and connecting with those they read about and admired?
  • Are our loved ones in Heaven getting answers to questions they wondered about here on Earth?
  • Are those in Heaven able to share their knowledge they had on Earth?
  • Do those in Heaven miss their loved ones still on Earth?
  • What will our reunion in Heaven look like?
  • What does “no more marriage in Heaven” mean for our relationships with those we were married to?
  • Will our relationships with our earthly spouses still be special?
  • How has your study of Heaven shaped your perspectives in grief?
  • What is an appropriate amount of time to give to thinking about Heaven?
  • How do you want to finish out your remaining years?

Watch our full conversation here:

As I’ve written before, Jesus is Nanci’s best friend and my best friend. She is there with Him, and He is here with me. So Jesus is the bridge that keeps us connected until we live in that new world, with new bodies and minds, that He is preparing for us. The connection I feel to her through Him is profound.

Randy and NanciI miss Nanci tremendously, but thinking of her brings me more joy than it does sorrow. I am so genuinely happy for her—so thankful that she finished her life here so well, was so faithful to Jesus, and made such an impact on our family. So as for my grief, there is still missing her, and sometimes heartache and grief, but for the most part, gratitude and an overwhelming sense of God’s grace eclipse regrets and sorrows.

Steve and I talked quite a bit about how our loved ones in Heaven don’t stop caring about their family and friends just because they’re now in the presence of Jesus. Recently there was a special text about one of our grandsons that Nanci would have just been overjoyed to read. She is not here for me to share it with her, but it doesn't mean she's out of the loop. God can do whatever He wants, but in this particular case with her grandson, I strongly suspect that she is aware of it.

We don’t cease to be the people God made us to be when we die. We don’t lose our memories and our love and fondness for our families. And if God lets some people in Heaven know what's going on in some places and times down on Earth, which I believe is clear, shouldn’t we assume He would do that with people related to their beloved children and grandchildren and dear friends? I actually think the burden of proof is on those who do not believe this likely happens, as opposed to those who do believe it.

It is tough to not share the special emotions and conversations we would be having if Nanci were still here. But again, my belief is that she is actually way more “in the loop” of what God is doing in this world than I am. Heaven is not a place of ignorance, but perspective. This earth is where the great unfolding drama of redemption is happening, and I think the attention of Heaven is often upon that drama. 

For more on the New Earth, see Randy’s book Heaven. You can also browse our resources on Heaven and additional books.

Photo: Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries