Prone to grieve: Hope comes in the mourning

I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish tonight. This blog post wasn’t on it, but still I had to write.

Of all the promises we can take from the Bible, there’s one that I come back to more often than not. I won’t go so far as to say that it’s my favorite, but it’s certainly the one that seems to be the most consistent one I hold on to. As believers, we have hope in the midst of grief.

I know that some of you reading this blog may not be believers and would not consider yourselves Christians. That’s OK. You’ll have to excuse today’s post. I normally try to keep the Jesus talk in healthy measures. But this post doesn’t do that. This post is full-on Jesus talk, and I can’t apologize for that. My goal here is not to offend, but to process the honest things that are on my heart. If you stick with it, my prayer, truly, is that it’s an encouragement to you. We’re no different in the situations we face. The difference is in how we face them.

Today we said good-bye to one of the kindest, most godly women I have ever met. Elise was truly a ray of sunshine, and today that sun has set. I don’t know that I’ve ever met someone so committed to prayer. Her prayers on my behalf were humbling, weighty. Whether it was work issues or traveling safety, her prayers were like a direct line to the Throne. The kind of prayers you were sure Jesus heard because she and Jesus were tight. 

And now she’s gone, never more to suffer the pains of cancer. Never again to hear bad news from the doctor. Never to worry about leaving her family and loved ones behind.

Today, heaven claims another saint. Another child hears the words of the Father, “Welcome home. And well done.”

But another family mourns. Another son misses his mom. Another friend cries.

We grieve.

To say that believers do not mourn is insensitive and inhuman and unbiblical. Nothing in Scripture points to an absence of grief when people die. Even when those loved ones put their hope in Christ like we do. Jesus himself wept at the news of Lazarus’s death. Its a separation. Often a painful one. To discount that pain is wrong.

But we grieve with hope.

Paul doesn’t tell us not to grieve in his letter to the Thessalonians. He says that we don’t grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

We grieve with hope in the promise that death is not the final answer for those who are in Christ.

One day, we will see them again. One day, we will be in a place of no more pain. No more tears. No more cancer. One day, we will be together again and together at last to worship The One for whom all worship is due.

And oh, what a glorious day that will be!

Until then, we grieve with hope. Grieving for those who have gone. Hoping for the moment spent with them again.

Jesus, come quickly.

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12 thoughts on “Prone to grieve: Hope comes in the mourning

  1. From my reading today:

    25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and he will stand upon the earth at last.
    26 And after my body has decayed,
    yet in my body I will see God!*
    27 I will see him for myself.
    Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.
    I am overwhelmed at the thought!

    Tyndale House Publishers. (2007). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (3rd ed.) (Job 19:25–27). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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  6. Dustin – I am in tears now, as I just now ran across this post from last year. Thank you for the kind words you had for Elise – she felt a special friendship for you. This month is difficult as we are now getting close to the one year anniversary of her home-going. For the first three months, the pain was most intense and thankfully I am over that phase now. However, from time to time something will trigger a memory of her – a word, a picture, a thought, or even no particular reason at all, and all those feelings come rushing back. I feel cheated out of all the things that we had planned to do in the future, but now will never be able to do. This was not the time for her to die, or at least it was not the time I thought she should die. (sorry for the rant)

    However, I know that all the days of her life were ordained before one of them came to be. Another verse of Scripture that has been particularly helpful to me comes from John 17:24 where Jesus prays, “Father I DESIRE that all those you have given me to be with me and see my glory.” That means that Jesus was praying for Elise to be with Him! That is comforting!

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