I had planned to write about something else today, but as I was praying I felt led to write about grieving today. As I prayed this morning, I prayed for God to help me show his love when I visit friends from Iran this afternoon. A cousin of theirs died in Iran, so today they are gathering in a home to remember their cousin.
I will never forget a funeral I went to seven years ago for a teen girl from Vietnam who died. It was a Buddhist funeral. It struck me that for her family in their belief she is gone forever. They will never know her again. They believe she will reincarnated as someone or something else. They believe the daughter they knew is lost forever.
What a contrast for those of us who follow Jesus. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
Yes we feel sad over the separation but we are encouraged to remember that the separation is temporary because we will see and know our loved one again. Our guarantee of that is the fact that Jesus died and rose from the dead. So yes we grieve, but we grieve with hope, the certain hope of being reunited with our loved one because of Jesus.
Paul didn’t write so you do not grieve meaning we are not to grieve. He wrote we do not grieve like those who have no hope. So going through the grieving process is something we experience yet our experience is to be different in the sense that we have hope.
A blog I follow, the peaceful nest, is written by a mother whose son died. She shares her experience of how God comforted her and brought her through the valley of grieving. Here is a link for one of her posts. I think you will be encouraged by her posts.
Grieving is not something we should be in denial about. We should reach out to our friends who are grieving. If we are grieving, we don’t need to put on the ‘I am okay’ exterior all the time.
The difference for those who follow Jesus is that we understand death is a temporary separation. I understood that when my father died. He had prayed with me to receive Christ one year before he died. I was with him the morning he died. I had peace in knowing he was in heaven to the point that even though I was grieving, I taught my class that night.
With Jesus, there is hope in every situation.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.