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Jessica Ann Howell

I want to tell you about a little girl I know, well I don't really know her well, I was there with her the day after she was born and I did know her well the first two and a half years of her life. But things change and life changes and after that we didn't get to see her much. I do know of her life though, you see her parents are very dear friends of ours.

I know of her love for Jesus and for her family, I know of the smiles she's put on so many faces because of her cheerful heart and gentle spirit and deep compassion for people. I know she would love to see the Lord glorified today by seeing each and every one of you make a commitment to Christ. You see Jessica Ann Howell went to be with Jesus September 6, 1999, and I know that she would like to meet you in heaven some day.

It was just a few months before her 8th birthday that she went home, and we can sit here today and be sad that she had such a short life, and say to ourselves, "What a shame, it seems she had so much to offer this world." And we are sad, and she did have so much to offer. But in her short little 7 years she gave much to this world and in leaving she gives a testimony. She reminds us that time is short and we need to love Jesus with all of our heart the way she does. The month before she died she wrote this little poem:

"I can't wait to go to heaven

and see the golden gates,

and cuddle in His arms

and be so, so happy forever more"

As I was reflecting on Jessica and her love for Jesus and how very much she would be missed this Easter, I found myself praying for her family, imagining how hard it must be to go through yet another holiday without their little girl. And I realized that this holiday was different. This holiday brings hope! It is because of this holiday that some day this family will be reunited never to have to part again! Because Jesus died on the cross and rose on that third day, today, Jessica is in heaven! She is there dancing and singing with her beloved Jesus and waiting there for her family to join them. That is her testimony. That is the love of Jesus.

If you have heartache today, if you have trouble, if you are lonely or scared and you need a friend, Jessica would tell you, you have one and he is waiting for you if you would just call on him, he will be there for you because Jesus loves you very much!