I want to first just say, honestly and sincerely I do not and wish not to offend anyone with this post. But I do hope it will make you think.
Most anyone you ask, who has lost a loved one, will say something to the effect at some point during the conversation "He or she is in a better place"... and that is comforting. Many of us have gone as far to say "we KNOW" she or he is in a better place, and "we KNOW, that we will see them again".
Many people have remembered loved ones during this time - of celebration of being with family - although this "time" and these celebrations do NOT originate with God nor of His commandments. I grew up like most and have celebrated this time with family, since I can remember and exchanged gifts, I did this year. But I can't with a clear conscious continue to do it. Many who have seen and read these posts have remained silent about it. But thats not why I write.
I lost my mom in 1998 and I have also said "I know she is in a better place"... but the stark reality, the real truth is "I don't know"... I don't know what her relationship was with God, only she and God knew and I don't know how her immortal life has played out. Surely, I have recalled the "fruit" she produced in her life, but her relationship with God was her own, it was just between Him and her. We cannot enter into the relationships with someone else with someone else, they are each individual and we cannot know these things. We can only recognize others who are true followers of Christ, by the fruit they produce.
For many years, I sought God only to comfort myself and create some sense of self designed security, a belief, but yet a lie, that I would get to that "place" and be with her again. How absolutely wrong was I. My goal should have never to seek the reward of Heaven only to be with her to see her again - God of course convicted me of that endeavor long ago.
While I would love to see "Mom" again, my first desire, my first love should be God, and it is. I have reconciled myself to the possibly fact, that I may never ever see the mom I once knew and loved more than anything and anyone, including God. He has turned my heart toward Him and I am so grateful and humbled by His grace, His love, His mercy.
Should we continue to deceive ourselves of the lies we hear in our heads, some of our own making and choosing? Should we seek the reward of Heaven, the blessings of God, for selfish motives, no matter how "good" and "comforting" they may seem.
Please do not deceive yourselves for your own sake and those that you love so dearly - to wait until the day you or they are gone, to tell yourselves lies - that while comforting and seemingly provide some sort of peace.
Jesus is absolutely real and He loves each of us beyond measure. His life, death and resurrection are real.
It is so much easier to believe a lie than to face the Truth. But I promise you, and as my life is a living testimony, the Truth will set you free. It will set you free from bondage, false doctrine, a prison of lies, of addiction, of confusion. God will give you peace and understanding, His Holy Spirit will lead you into all Truth. And I can tell you from personal experience, that Truth comes in levels and varying degrees but never contradicts itself. As we seek to know to understand we grow spiritually and our eyes are opened, we come out of darkness and into the light. It all starts to make sense and as we fill our lives with His Truth and His Word, we are transformed by it.
Do not deceive yourselves, do not believe the lies the enemy whispers in your head, or that are spoken by many. Seek God for yourself and you will see, persist and commit yourselves to getting to know God on a very personal level.