A minister announced that the topic of his sermon would be “Heaven”. He received a letter from an old man who was very ill. The letter, a beautiful expression of faith, read in part: “Next Sunday you are to talk about heaven! I am interested in that land because I have held a clear title to a bit of property there for 55 years.
I did not buy it; it was given to me without price, but the donor purchased it at tremendous sacrifice to Himself. I am not holding it for speculation since the title is not transferable. It is not a vacant lot for I have been sending materials out of which the greatest builder in the universe has been preparing a mansion for me.
Termites can never undermine its foundations; they rest upon the Rock of Ages. Fire cannot destroy it nor floods wash it away. No locks, nor bolts will ever be place on its doors, for no vicious person can enter that land.
There is a valley of deep shadows between the place where I now live, and that to which I will journey in a short time. I cannot reach my home in that city of God unless I pass through that valley., but I am not afraid, because the best Friend I ever had went through the valley, and drove away all the gloom. He has stuck by me constantly since we first met 55 years ago, never to forsake me or leave me alone.
He will be with me as I walk through the valley of the shadow; I shall not lose my way ever.
I hope to hear your sermon but I have no assurance that I will do so. My ticket to heaven has no date on it and no return coupon, no baggage permit.
I may not be here while you are talking Sunday, but I hope to meet you there some day.
From ” Leaving Self Behind” by Jack Exum