Well, it's here.
The four-year anniversary of Nick's departure from earth and entrance to Heaven.
I will forever be certain that as we spent those last few minutes with Nick, who had not woken up for almost two days, we had the blessing of hearing him sing his way out of this world.
I'll never forget, as we gathered around him that morning,how he began to make the sweetest humming sound.
He continued humming until his last breath was taken.
The energy in the room was like nothing I had ever felt before.
It was as if our family room were full of some sort of pressure, almost enough to make my ears ring.
And then, with Nick's last breath, the room became a vacuum.
I will believe, until the day I get to Heaven myself, that our family room was transformed into Heaven's gateway that Saturday morning, November 29th, four years ago....
as if angels packed the room around us, filling it up with God's glory.
I've never felt so close to God's Presence as in that moment.
In my mind, it was as if the staircase to Heaven led straight to our couch, and our sweet Nick was personally escorted straight to eternity;
and with His last breath, the staircase, the angels, and Nick were gone.
Paul says in II Cor. 5:8,
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
I feel privileged and thankful to have been by Nick's side when this moment, his transformation from this world to God's Presence, happened.
So, today, even in my very real grief and longing to talk to Nick, hug Nick, spend time with Nick,
I cling to passages like II Cor. 4:8-10,
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted,
but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
This morning, in my daily Bible reading, the verses below were included.
They comfort me today as always,
It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
II Cor. 4:13-18
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
II Cor. 5:1-10
Today I have the privilege of filling in for a third grade teacher while she travels to another school for a classroom visit.
I believe God will speak to me somehow through these children, and honestly,
I am looking forward to today!
As I thought of all of you this morning and what I wanted to say before getting ready for work,
two videos came into my mind.
Videos that continue to be a blessing to our family.
The first is a video Chuck Norris and his family made for Nick.
Nick was able to watch this video just a couple of weeks before he passed away.
I'm thankful for men like Chuck Norris who have been successful in the world's eyes, yet carry with them a deep, bold faith in God and share His love in such special ways.
The next video is a tribute to Nick that our son Erich put together for Nick's funeral.
The song, "I'm Not Cool," was Nick's favorite!
We listened to this song over and over again in the car going back and forth from Columbus.
Nick would sing along at the top of his lungs.
I can still see his grin as he sang every word and meant it!
Today, I hope you will experience the presence of God in a very powerful way,
a gift from Heaven to you wherever you are.
Maybe these videos will be part of the gift.
Death, where is your victory?
Not at the Nischan house!
We believe in the power of the resurrection and anxiously await the return of Jesus to take us all Home.
Until then, we live for Him who conquered death so that we don't have to fear it!