My friend’s normally bubbly email, laced with smiley faces and lots of cheery expressions, was different today. Today her email was filled with grief. Her email told the story of loss and death. Her loved one, a mere child really, at nineteen, was gone. Overdosed. Gone. No time to prepare, no time for good-byes. Gone.
So painful. Such loss. Death was not part of God’s original plan for us . . . although He knew it would come. (He warned Adam that death always follows disobedience.) But death is NOT God’s heart, not His characteristic. He is the Life-giver.
And although death is the penalty for sin . . . thankfully, God has turned death on its head . . . death is now our doorway into the glorious beginning that has no end! If her loved one was a believer, my friend will see her again soon. I say “soon” because no matter how young we may think we are, our time here is extremely brief, and death with its entrance to eternity is coming quickly.
The only way to survive this kind of loss, is by pressing into the Word, even when you don’t feel like it. Camping in the Psalms continually is a must, reading and praying through them . . . out loud. The Psalms are there to give us a sounding board with God and provide a way to express our grief to Him in ways that honor Him.
My counsel to those who are walking through the horrors of this kind of loss is: Don’t be ashamed of the grief, but grieve as one who has HOPE, and by hope, I mean what Scripture means by that word: settled confidence in God’s abilities. Grieve over the loss, the insanity of sin, the depravity and fallen condition of our world system, but rejoice that God has truly triumphed over that. This is NOT the end of the story!
We have the answer to the dark realities of life: the cross. There is no other explanation for grieving with hope, except the reality of the cross. What greater love has been shown, than when the Father sacrificed His Son, when the Son—the “I AM” stepped into history to take on flesh in order to rescue us from every dark reality, and laid down His life as a ransom on the cross?
No greater love has been shown.
And it is to that Savior that we must run when we are hit by the grief in fresh and overwhelming ways. And run to Him in worship because we know that He entered into the pain and suffering that we are now experiencing . . . long before the event occurred in our own lives. He entered into your loss, dear one, when He was on the cross. He paid for the sinful actions that resulted in the realities of death . . . while He was on the cross. Worship Him for that.
Worship Him that He did not leave us here, in this death planet, but provided the way of escape, the way to eternal life . . . where the terrors of death have no power over us. He provided our escape from death by His own death. Worship Him for that.
We are not left in a hopeless state, have not been abandoned by God.
An excellent resource that I recommend to those who are struggling in the loss of a loved one is Nancy Guthrie’s “Holding On to Hope: A Pathway Through Suffering to the Heart of God.”
The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him. (Nahum 1:7)
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