For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
There are moments when the impact of life’s brutal blows will hit so hard we feel the wind has been knocked out of us.
Last Sunday morning, my family woke to the devastating news of a close family members passing. It was sudden and gut- wrenching. We gathered at his home where his body lay as the coroner gave us a chance to be together. I watched as my grandmother said goodbye to her son and as my dad kissed his only brother on the forehead to say he loved him. One of the most touching moments of my life came when I sat beside my pain-stricken grandmother as she sang the chorus of “It is well with my soul” just minutes after.
In the days that followed, family and friends surrounded as we told stories, looked at old photographs and remembered my uncle. Distraction seemed to help from the reality of what happened. Eventually though, the people left, the house got quiet and the concreteness was crushing.
Losing a loved one leaves a gaping hole and forces us to trudge through the thick mucky stages of bereavement. We’re left in a state of shock, confusion, despair and anger amongst other emotions. When the dust settles, most around us will go back to their normal lives. It is the ones left grieving that may feel a part of us died with them. How do we carry on and continue living when we feel our heart has been ripped from our chest?
We put our hope in Jesus Christ. He is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in him will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in him will never die. (John 11:25-26) We can rejoice because they are in the arms of the Savior and truly alive! The righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace as they lie in death. (Isaiah 57:1-2) We can also anticipate the day we see them again, like those who recognized Jesus after He was resurrected and like it was at the transfiguration where Moses and Elijah were recognizable (Matthew 17:3-4).
Death is a part of life and no matter what we do, how many degrees we have or how much money is in our bank account, the end result is the same. We were not made for this world or to be attached to anything to it. We are being prepared in this temporary home for the exhilarating day we get to enter our permanent home with our maker and Christian brothers and sisters. Rest, oh anguished soul, when the dust settles the spirit will return to God who gave it. Death will be swallowed up in victory!
Have you lost someone so near and dear that you felt life couldn't go on?
How did you overcome those emotions?
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