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Are You Ready For Heaven?

A few years ago, our precious son Jordan went to heaven, unexpectedly. He was only 28.

On the morning I received the news, I had just got off the phone from booking a restaurant in Lygon Street. Our family met every couple of weeks for dinner, and we had decided that we would meet there the following night. It wasn’t to be.

As the shock of this devastating news reverberated through my soul, it felt like my heart shattered into a million pieces. Any parent who has ever buried their child knows it’s not something you just “get over.” The empty chair at every family celebration is a perpetual reminder they are not with you.  (We didn’t even sit at the dinner table for a couple of years). How we miss his huge smile, witty jokes, kind heart and sharing his dreams.

This devastating event began a very difficult journey, one I never imagined would be mine…

What this has been like for me, is not really the purpose of this blog. I’m writing more to share just one way in which I personally experienced God’s overwhelming closeness and love during that devastating first week.

As I lay in bed that the first night, not a second of sleep came – I felt numb with grief – but at some time in the early hours of morning, a song came into my mind. I remember distinctly when it happened. I knew the tune, but not all the words – just the words of one line, which I thought went … “People get ready for the train to Georgia, picking up passengers coast to coast.”

The tune and that one line in particular went over-and-over-and over in my head for the rest of the week, for the next five days in fact. It was like it was on repeat, it just wouldn’t leave me – even when visitors came, including the funeral director.

By the end of the week, I remember expressing some annoyance to my husband about it saying “I’ve had a song in my head all week long. It just doesn’t stop. It’s going over-and-over-and over in my head. I’m so tired of it”. 

But then … just as I said this, it suddenly dawned on me…. perhaps God was trying to speak to me through this song?? (I had experienced Him doing this a few times before with songs.)

And so, I went to my phone, looked up the words, and stared in utter amazement. This is what I read…   

People get ready, there’s a train a comin’
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith, to hear the diesels hummin’
Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord

So people get ready, for the train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board ’em
There’s hope for all, among those loved the most

So, people get ready there’s a train a comin’
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith, to hear the diesels hummin’
Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord          *(You can go to the end of the blog for more info on the song and a link to hear it).

What I read blew me away – in particular the words in the second verse …

So, people get ready, for the train to Jordan (this is the name of our son, so Georgia as I had previously thought the lyric was, was wrong)
Picking up passenger’s coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board ’em
There’s hope for all, among those loved the most

So … here was the answer to why God had put that song relentlessly on my mind for the entire week, until I took notice.

In his tender, loving care for me, He was desperately trying to reach my grieving heart with His reassurance. He wanted me to know that our son had “caught the train” to the Promised Land. (In the bible, another word for heaven, the “Promised Land” is Jordan).

God was making it very clear that Jordan had gone before us – into the next life and was living out the destiny he had been created for – a destiny which we would also experience one day when we see him again.  

As impacting as this was on me, I also knew that through this song, God was speaking to me with another message. Quite simply it was this. That in the words of this song, there is an invitation for everyone who would receive it, to go to that Promised Land.  Anyone who wants to “can get on board the train to Jordan” – no ticket is needed other than to have faith in Jesus and receive His free gift.

What I am so aware of – just as you are – is that every single night on the news, we are confronted with the fragility of life – again and again we see that this life is short, and yes – unpredictable.

The truth is, that none of us know when we will take our last breath.

Yet how often do we give enough attention to this reality?

How often do we give serious thought to what happens to us when our life is over?

Is it really “the end”?

Is there nothing more???

I believe there is. And the bible makes it very clear that there is too.

It describes a Promised Land which is far beyond anything that this world has to offer.

The love and beauty that we know on this earth, is a mere glimpse of what lies ahead. In Revelation 21:4 it says that in this place called heaven “God will wipe every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. These things are gone forever.”

It’s good news. Actually, it’s so much more than just good news – it’s amazing and wonderful good news. God didn’t just create us for this life – but to enjoy and live in the next.

So, this powerful little song, tells us we can each get our own ticket to go “on the train to Jordan” – the future Promised Land. 

It’s simple – and the song tells us how…..

“All you need is faith, to hear the diesels hummin’
Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord                                                                           

Like these lyrics say, the only ticket you need is faith – faith in Jesus and what He did for you because He loves you so very, very much.                                     

So, if you’re reading this, and haven’t got your “faith ticket” yet, would you like one?

All that’s needed is to ask, (because Jesus never forces his way into our lives, He only comes in through our invitation.)

Below is a simple prayer that you can say to invite him into your life (and if you feel you really want to do this, I believe it’s God speaking to you and trying to get your attention, so don’t put it off). Can I suggest that if you’re going to pray it, find a quiet place alone, with just you and Jesus, then say it with all your heart.

Lord Jesus

I’m sorry for the things I’ve done wrong in my life

(here you might feel you want to mention any which weigh heavily on your heart)

Thank you that by your death on the cross, you paid for it all

   and you opened the door for me to go into heaven when I die

I receive your complete forgiveness

Thank you for washing me clean from all guilt and shame –

Come into my life by your Holy Spirit, and be with me forever

Thank you for giving me a new start

I open my heart and receive your love, joy and peace

   and I also receive the gift of eternal life

Thank you that one day, I will see you

– and be with you in heaven,  forever, Amen.

If you have said this prayer, God has answered every part of it. You have new life, God’s Spirit lives in you. As his dearly loved child, He has a great future for you and He has promised to walk every step of this life with you, through every joy and challenge, until one day, you board that “train to Jordan” – Heaven, the Promised Land. In other words, the “train is not going to leave the station without you.” Let this truth impact your day, make you smile and bring you so much peace.

If you want to let me know that you’ve prayed the prayer above, please feel free to inbox me through a private message, because there’s some great next steps in your journey with Jesus I’d love to help you with. Otherwise, tell someone else who has also taken this faith step what you have done so they can get excited with you. 

God bless,

Carolyn Conway




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