From time to time during his childhood, Christopher would get himself into trouble, as sons do. There was always a certain look on his face,and he would say, “Dad . . . ?”
I would respond, “What’s wrong, Topher?” And I was always able to somehow fix it.
That’s what dads do, we fix things.
Sure, we are there to encourage and nurture, but moms do that so much better. Dads want to protect, provide, and “fix things.”
But I cannot “fix” this. I cannot bring him back.
I can do everything in my power to help his wife, his daughter, and his baby to come, and I will. But I cannot help Christopher at all.
Then again, he really does not need Dad’s help this time. He is now with his heavenly Father who, needless to say, is doing a much better job than his earthly one could ever do.
He is “fixed.”
I was always concerned about Christopher’s safety and security (as I am with all of my family). He is now more safe and secure than he has ever been, in the “everlasting arms.”
The fact of the matter is, I am the one that needs the help now. I am looking to God, my Heavenly Father, and effectively saying, “Dad . . . ?”
His reply? “What’s wrong, Greg?”
It is actually a source of comfort to me to know that Jesus weeps. He wept at the tomb of Lazarus, and He weeps with me and every person who has ever had a loved one leave them through death.
It breaks His heart, just as it breaks ours.
Scripture also reminds us that God keeps our “tears in a bottle:”
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)
When Christopher and I were in an antiquities store in Jerusalem this year on our Israel tour, we came across what is known as a “tear bottle.” It dates back 2,000 years and it was a beautiful blue color.
The man who ran the shop said the Romans kept their tears in these bottles. So we took a photo of it, and I told Christopher about the passage I just quoted.
Now I have my own tear bottle. Not on earth, but in heaven.
Thursday’s A New Beginning broadcast
I happened to catch part of our radio program Thursday and I have to say I was ministered to!
I was speaking on the death of Lazarus and raised the question, “If we could actually speak with people in heaven and ask them the question, ‘Would you like to come back to earth?,’ What would they say?”
To find the answer, you can listen to the program here. (The title of the program to listen to is “When God Seems Late, Part 2″)
I will be speaking in San Diego this weekend
I have been asked to speak at an outreach event this Labor Day weekend at Horizon Christian Fellowship in Rancho Santa Fe, which is in San Diego County.
I will be speaking in the morning and the evening. I will also be joined by the amazing Christian band, MercyMe.
Please remember me in prayer,and if you can, please join us. It will be webcast as well.
For more information on it, click here.
Many people have asked me, “How are you doing?” Frankly, that is a very hard question to answer. It really depends on which moment one asks, but let me give you a little update.
It has been just over a month since Christopher so suddenly left us. It seems like yesterday.
There is a hole in the world and an even bigger one in our hearts for Christopher! I can so imagine him sitting with us, talking and laughing.
The reason this is harder is that every day that goes by, I am further from Christopher.
I miss him.
I miss his voice, his hair. I miss the lines on his face, his walk. All I have now are memories, photos, and a few videos.
I hate using the term, “Christopher died.” I don’t like using the word, and I choke up when I type it.
Yes, he died in one sense, but in a very real sense—an even more real sense—he is alive! More alive than he has ever been. More alive than I am right now.
Jesus said, “He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26 NKJV).
Christopher Laurie is alive.
Anyway, as I was saying, before Christopher went to be with the Lord, I did not see him for almost a week before. He was out of town with his family.
So it has been well over a month since we last spoke. That is a long time, because we communicated every single day for the most part.
Yes, it’s sad, because every day I am further from my last time with my son. But then again, every day I am also closer! Closer to the day when I will be reunited with him in heaven.
As David said after the death of his son, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23 NIV).
So, those are some of my honest, real-time thoughts from the valley. God is faithful, and He will walk with us through it, just as He is walking with you through your valley.
Thanks again for your prayers and thoughtful words.
God bless you,
I want to thank all of you for your prayers for this year’s crusade.
Early Friday, I was having a hard day, missing Christopher, with a lot of tears. But I knew in the evening I had a task to fulfill, and I prayed for special grace to get through it, along with many of you.
I am pleased to say the Lord answered our prayers. I was even strengthened as I gave the message.
As I mentioned, one of the reasons I was speaking at our crusade this year – especially so close to Christopher’s early departure to heaven – was so I could not only preach the gospel to others, but also to myself! Just saying those beautiful words of comfort from the Bible about where our loved ones in the Lord go when they die encouraged me.
Two nights to go!
We have two more nights to go. Let’s go out of our way today to extend invitations and make those last-minute phone calls, e-mails, and texts to those that need to hear the gospel.
You just never know, this could be the last time they ever hear the gospel.
Rejoicing in heaven
The Bible says in Luke 15:10, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (NKJV).
Notice that the verse says, “In the presence of the angels.” In other words, it does not say, “There is joy in heaven among the angels when one sinner comes to God,” but “in the presence of the angels.”
So, could that mean that the joy is among those who gone to heaven before us? Could it be that heaven knows what is happening on earth? Could my son have been aware of what God did through his testimony last night?
We know the Lord knows. But do our loved ones who are there know?
Perhaps. Perhaps much more than we realize.
But one thing is for certain, there was joy in heaven last night when 2,800 people made professions of faith. And there was joy here on earth too.
Heaven and earth joined in celebration. That’s exactly how it ought to be. Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Thanks again for your prayers and wonderful letters of encouragement and support. I am really thankful to God that so many of you would think about our family and most, importantly, pray for us.
I also grieve with you who have also had loved ones die; your letters and entries have been especially meaningful.
I have to say, I have deep, deep moments of sorrow, missing my son. It was only the Thursday before last, July 24, that he left us for heaven.
The Bible tells us there is a place for mourning. As Solomon reminds us in the book of Ecclesiastes:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)
A season of mourning
So, for now, this is a season of mourning.
Some would say, “But Greg, your son is in heaven. Why mourn?”
Why? Because I miss him.
I don’t mourn for Topher (his nickname), for he is in the very presence of God. I mourn for us, his dear wife, children, and all of his friends who loved him.
Christopher was a happy, funny, creative person to hang out with, and his presence for those who knew him is missed in a huge way.
We mourn because we loved and love. Our depth of sorrow is an indication of our depth of love.
But the difference between the mourning of a nonbeliever and a believer is this. The believer’s sadness is mingled with hope! Paul reminded us that as believers mourning those who have gone to heaven before us, We do not sorrow as those who have no hope (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13). I have hope, because I know I will see my son again . . . in heaven!
I’ve been thinking a great deal about heaven the last few days. I also have been searching the Scripture and learning more about it than at any other time in my life.
I’m sure that will enter into what I will speak on at our upcoming Harvest Crusade in Anaheim, which believe it or not, is only eight days away!
I would appreciate your prayer as I seek to share the messages on the three nights of this event that will be from God’s heart and will show people their very real need for Jesus Christ.
A time to laugh!
There have been moments of joy too!
Solomon told us there is also a place to “laugh and dance.” Now, I am not very good at that (dancing, that is), but my granddaughter Stella is!
Yesterday, we got out some little toy musical instruments – Cathe on tambourine, Jonathan on some kind of rattle, and Grandpa on drums – and we put some happy music on and Stella jumped around the room with delight. We all laughed and had a great time.
I hope you will do something like that with your family today.
Talk to you soon . . .
I wanted to thank the many of you who have contacted me with your words of comfort over the sudden departure of my dear son, Christopher, to heaven. I would ask that you continue to pray for our family.
I would also ask that you would prayerfully consider who you could bring to one of our Harvest Crusades events this year. As you know, we will be in Anaheim, Philadelphia, and New York City. Try to come and join us for one of these events, and bring someone with you that does not know the Lord. And don’t forget, all of them are webcast live and will be archived for you to watch when you desire.
Christopher Laurie – our son, Brittany’s husband, Stella’s father, and Jonathan’s brother – poured his heart into these events. In honor of his life – and most importantly, because Christ has commanded us to preach the gospel – let’s pray for our greatest crusades ever with thousands coming to know Christ personally and thus finding the hope of heaven my son is now experiencing first-hand.
Thank you and God bless,