The vision lasted only a few seconds, but it left a big impression. I had been talking with a friend, when suddenly I saw a glimpse into the future. We were hugging, laughing, and talking about our lives—and we were in Heaven. This has happened to me several times. Sometimes it has been with a close friend, and other times it has been with someone I had just met. In each case I was left with the profound feeling that friendships in Heaven are much deeper and more meaningful and longer lasting than the ones we enjoy in this life.
I find that thought very comforting, perhaps because I’m somewhat isolated and lonely in my present situation. I have always been gregarious and had many friends, and friendships have always been very important to me. But fibromyalgia has a way of making a hermit of even the most sociable person. The aching muscles, fatigue, and sleep problems that come with this neurological disorder leave me too sick to go out with friends or attend parties, and often too sick to even talk on the phone. What do I have to talk about anyway, when I live in such an isolated world?
And what about all of the people I met and helped in the course of my years of volunteer work before I got sick? Do they even remember me now? Are they thankful for my prayers, and have those prayers made a difference? Does my friendship still mean something to them? What’s left to show for those years? I’ve asked myself those questions while lying alone in a dark room.
But now, through this series of little visions, I understand better that this life truly is only a brief moment in time and that regardless of how things are going now, someday these friends and I will be together again in heavenly bliss. It will be like old times, except that then it will be in a perfect world where there is no more parting, pain, or sorrow.
I will also meet you, dear reader whose name and life story I don’t yet know, and I think we’ll find we have a lot in common. We may have had very different lives, but we both will have experienced happiness and hardship, joy and sorrow. With old friends and new ones, we will go on to experience a whole new world.
And most wonderful of all, we’ll be face to face and heart to heart with the One who loves and understands us like no other, the One who lived and died for us and rose to life again that we might live together in His love eternally, the ultimate forever Friend—Jesus.