But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope
1 Thessalonians 4:13
English Standard Version
Over the course of many years I have watched friends,family and our church communities as they have walked through the valley of the shadow of death.
I recall close friends of ours as they rushed to the bedside of their young daughter after a car accident, only to find she was already in the lap of Jesus. The next morning they were in worship, casting all their cares on God and hoping in God in the midst of profound loss.
I remember standing by the bedside of another dear friend after she had delivered her newborn who went to be with Jesus shortly after her birth. Her response? I know God has allowed this for a reason and He will use it for His glory so I may help someone who has walked this path, and she has. Her hope was and is in God.
I could go on for many paragraphs regarding those who have taught me how to grieve, how to lean hard on God, but until I experienced the death of my dear dad many years ago did God really teach me. Loss does teach us, suffering does teach us, and although death brings sadness and deep grief God does love and teach in our deepest sorrows.
- God is truly sovereign at the same time holding us close to Himself, giving us peace that be cannot explained.
- Learning to hold things lightly in this world, holding tightly to the Hand of God through His Word and prayer.
- Treasure Jesus, loving him more and more everyday rather than wondering if all the bills will be paid(still working on this one!), or what to wear the next day.
- God loves me, His way is best even when the path is dark, confusing and pain is a constant companion.
- I no longer cry "not fair" believing God took my dad too soon. It was His plan.
- I am more anxious for those who don't know my Savior to simply know Him and the eternal life he offers.
"In our deepest loss, we need more than friendship and a listening ear--though they are wonderful. We need more than mere arguments--though in some cases good arguments stabilize us. We need the reality of God himself--God as he has spectacularly and definitively disclosed himself to us in the person of his Son. He will require of us that we focus our attention on him, both for this life and the one to come."
Scandalous, page 130
There is hope!!
...the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.