Ever since I can remember, Grandpa has seemed "old": he suffered from congenital heart failure and Parkinson's disease; and compared with my Grandpa Tonneson, he definitely had the longer list of health issues. So, his death wasn't necessarily a surprise. As my mom said, he was the man with nine lives - there were so many different occasions when we didn't think that Grandpa was going to live much longer, and yet he did. Except this time.
As I think about Grandpa as I remember him, it's heartbreaking. But, as I think about Grandpa as he is now - in heaven with his beloved Jesus - it's exciting. It's exciting for me to think of what that new body of his looks like . . . is he still well over six feet tall, now able to stand completely erect? I love imagining the youthful joy that's in his face - not the worn, aged look I remember since I was young. I love picturing his enthusiasm and awe as he stands in the presence of the Lord - maybe even dancing with joy before Him!
I don't know the theology of it all - like whether or not Grandpa has this new body now or if he has to wait for Christ's return to earth for the resurrection of his body - but I do know where he is: in Paradise. And I imagine that Paradise with Jesus in an unglorified body is just as amazing as Paradise with Jesus in a glorified body.
"For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on the immoratlity, then will come about the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 15:53-57 (emphasis added)I am so grateful that Grandpa on the Farm knew Jesus because death has no victory in Him. But my heart goes out to those who do not know Jesus; to those left behind who know their loved ones are not in a place of joy but of torment. Let's not waste the time given to us by the Lord to share the glorious news of His salvation with those around us. After all, He "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4)