I apologize for taking so long to write my blog today. This morning was a typical hectic time for this mom! But I trusted that God would introduce me to some topic on this crazy morning that I could blog about once I got home. And as usual God did not let me down!
As I approached my church today, I saw two friends chatting in the front of the building. Their lovely smiles greeted me along with warm hugs. John and Linda were so happy to see me on this sunny, beautiful morning. As we began to talk, John asked me if I was still working at the church. It brought up a long story about why I left my job and began my writing for God. He just beamed with excitement which of course made me more excited about my change in careers. I love working for God.
As John and Linda and I chatted John brought up the topic of death. He is still mourning the loss of his beloved wife. John is such a remarkable man. I could go on and on about his wonderful characteristics. He reminds me a lot of my dad which is probably what draws me to him.
I Peter 1:8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, — This scripture reminds me of John and his never-ending love of God.
John radiates God’s Glory every time I see him. He just loves God with all his heart. As we continued to talk we were struck with the topic of bereavement and death. Why do we all dwell on the sadness of death and forget to teach our children and friends about the Glory of death? Why do we mourn the loss of loved ones and push thoughts about them on the backburner? Why after losing a loved one do we find it hard to talk with our friends about our struggles? So many of us have been through death of a loved one.
After losing my father (who died way too young), I found that I was faced with mourning his loss daily. My thoughts for at least a year (maybe even more) after he died were always memories that caused tears to stream down my face. I also harbored a lot of bitterness toward people in his life that had hurt him, dearly. There just was a lot going on in my mind that I never spoke of outwardly. I pushed the hurt away by erasing the memories. Isn’t that sad? I actually couldn’t bear the thought of remembering the good times because it caused such sorrow.
What I found most interesting about my conversation with John and Linda was when John pointed out that most people view death exactly the opposite of how the bible explains death. He even went so far to point out that after his wife died he was stuck in the crucifixion of Christ in his prayers and wasn’t looking at all toward the resurrection of Christ. I told you John is a good one! He really makes you think.
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 23. You know why? It gives me hope. It is a psalm for the dead but it is a psalm for the living (those left behind). Sure it shows us the beauty that lies beyond death; the moment we see God at those pearly gates. But the beauty of this psalm is that it is hope for those that have been left behind. God is with you. God wants to lead you back into goodness and loving kindness. God wants you to dwell in His house. He doesn’t want you to dwell in the house of sin and evil; the house that brings you sorrow and depression. No. God wants you with Him. He wants to give you peace and hope and love once again.
Everyone deals with death differently. We all need time to mourn, but we also need to grieve aloud. We need to share our grief with others. Healing comes when we share our own sorrows with others. Healing comes when we show God’s love during times of struggle.
Proverbs 3:3-5 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
Let the truth be heard so that you in the face of death can see God’s Glory. Dwell on the light, not on the darkness. Speak the truth so you will help yourself and others heal. Trust in God, never lean on your own understanding. We cannot ever imagine why death strikes our loved ones. We may never understand why someone is taken from this earthly life too early. We have to trust that God is present. He knows what he is doing. He has a plan for everything. Most importantly, He will show us the Light if we are open to receiving it.
Don’t stop there. Share the Glory of death with your children and family members. Share the beauty of heaven with them. Let God’s light shine in the death. I can still remember TJ one day as we passed by a cemetery when we were living in Utah. “There’s heaven, Mommy.” As I glanced out the window to where he was pointing, I realized he thought heaven was a cemetery. I stopped the car and pointed to the sunny sky. “No, TJ, heaven is up there. It is beautiful, glorious and magnificent. It is a place that you will love and never want to return to earth. It is where your Grandpa lives.”
Heaven is for real.