When was the last time you sat in a waiting room in the doctor’s office?  I want you to visualize the setting.  Perhaps the room was crowded, full of people you were sure carried multiple types of diseases.  The children sneezed and coughed profusely, never once covering their mouths.  You picked up a magazine to try to occupy your mind, only to find that it was the same magazine you already read cover-to-cover three months ago.  Sitting there, you wonder why you even made an appointment.  You still have to wait along with everyone else.  You’re probably getting sicker by the minute, being subjected to this germ-infested environment.  Just when you were about to throw in the towel and give up, the nurse opens the door and calls your name.

Life is a lot like a doctor’s waiting room.  Each day, there are difficulties we must face.  These struggles will often weigh us down, infecting us just like the germs that may be found in a doctor’s office.  The constant battles we have to fight cause us to grow impatient, much like someone who is waiting for an appointment that is overdue.  Just like the patients sitting in those uncomfortable straight-backed vinyl covered chairs, our names will soon be called.  Unlike the nurse who calls our names from a clipboard in her hand, our names will one day be read directly from the Lamb’s Book of Life.
I want to encourage you, if you are not certain that your name is written in this Heavenly Book, make today the day that you begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Today could be the day that you are called from this temporary home to your permanent home on high.  Have you made your appointment?  If not, it’s not too late.  You have no guarantee that you will breathe another breath.  No man, woman, or child, young or old, has the certainty that tomorrow will even come.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Make your appointment for Heaven today.  Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, and ask Him to be the Lord of your life.  If you do, your life will never be the same.  And you will know that when your name is called, you will walk through Heaven’s gates to live eternally with the Lord.
This morning, I attended the memorial service for a young teenager whose name was called this past weekend.  There was little warning for her and her family.  She lost her life due to injuries sustained in a accident.  As I sat there, I continuously began to ask myself, “Why?”  Why did this young girl not have the opportunity to graduate high school, go to college, or get married?  Why was she taken from this earth at the young age of fourteen?  Why didn’t God spare her life?  Of course, I know I am not alone.  I’m sure that everyone in the sanctuary had similar questions on their mind.  While sorrow filled my heart, hearing the stories of her vibrant, yet short-lived life, I also felt peace in my heart.  You see, she knew Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior.  She made her appointment in Heaven long ago.  And I know that her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and I will see her again one day.
While we may not be able to comprehend why things like this happen, we can rest assured that God has everything under control.  He knows our hearts are sad.  He feels our pain.  He sees our tears.  Yet, He knows how our story ends.  Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Notice this scripture does not say that all things are good.  Instead, it says that God will work everything together for our good.  Does this mean that we will never encounter a trial?  Does the scripture mean that we will never have a bad day?  No.  What it does mean is that God will take each trial and every single bad day and in His own special way, use them for our good.

You may be thinking, how could the death of a young girl be used for good?  I cannot answer this question.  Only God knows what the future will bring.  He knows our future and He knows our past.  And He is walking beside us right now, in the present, holding our hands as we stumble along the road of life.  Through every illness, tragedy, and even death, He will be our strength when we are weary, our peace when we are distressed, and our hope when we are hopeless.  Even in every moment of heartache, God has given us a promise that we can stake our lives on.  He has promised us that this earth, with all of its turmoil, is only temporary.  We are just passing through on our way to our eternal home, Heaven.  We won’t have to wait in this dreary waiting room much longer.  2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (The Message) says:
For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we'll never have to relocate our "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it! We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less.
If you want to experience the joy of knowing that this life is only temporary, don’t wait until tomorrow.  Don’t sit there in frustration, uncertain of where you will go when you die.  Don’t leave your family and friends wondering if they will see you again.  Don’t sit there miserable because you feel like you are a prisoner to this world of sorrow; instead, cling to the One who will restore your joy, set you free, and light the way home.  Jesus Christ will be a friend who is closer than a brother.  He will love you when you feel unlovable.  He will pick you up when you fall.  And best of all, if you have a personal relationship with Him, He will welcome you with open arms when your life on earth is done.  Don’t sit there, trying to remember if you made an appointment, growing agitated with the long wait.  Make your reservations and set your sights on Heaven until the day you make it home!
In Christ's Love,