Searching For Hope In The Depths Of Grief
Some of my dear friends are grieving the loss of loved ones this week. Finding words of comfort in such a difficult time is so hard. Words can do little to help with grief. Grief is a necessary emotion providing a passage to healing. The best gift we can offer may simply be a prayer that God will wrap His loving arms around those mourning and provide a sense of peace. I sincerely ask this for you today.
There are many beliefs on what happens after death and since we are unable to communicate with those who have experienced it, we may be troubled by the unknown. During my recent bible study, I have found some answers that can provide some peace and even joy. I believe that when we become absent from the body, we are present with our Lord immediately. I believe this because in Luke 23:43, Jesus promised the thief hanging on one side, “Today you shall be with Me in paradise.” I don’t think there is a waiting room or a long deep sleep. I trust that we trade in our old worn out body and our trials and troubles for a heavenly body and a one way ticket to paradise instantly.
Chapters 21 and 22 of Revelation give us a beautiful description of Heaven. We can be relieved to know that when we reach our heavenly home, there are no more tears or pain. The gates are made of pearl and the streets of pure gold like transparent glass. There is no need for a sun or moon as it is illuminated by the glory of God. I believe the beauty and joy experienced there is greater than our minds can perceive.
We can also hold fast to the knowledge that we will be reunited with our loved ones. There are multiple scriptures that assure us this is true. We learn in Matthew 17 that the souls of Moses and Elijah appeared and talked to Jesus. They were recognizable and able to communicate. In Matthew 26, Jesus told his disciples at the Last Supper that when they eat and drink together again, it will be in Heaven. And Paul offers comfort in 1 Thessalonians by saying “We who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”
Those who have gone on before us do not leave us. Love is everlasting and they are forever with us in spirit and always present in our hearts and mind.