Dealing with Sadness
Now, brothers, we want you to know the truth about those who have died; otherwise, you might become sad the way other people do who have nothing to hope for. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
Wednesday, After the Holy Trinity
O Thou who art the one God and Father of us all be near to us all, and graciously keep watch over our souls. Hear our prayer for Jesus’ sake. Amen
I’m sad. I don’t say that to gain sympathy from anyone. There is no need to send a card or email. It’s just a fact. I’m really struggling with my uncle’s recent death. I went to the funeral, but it was like I was standing there watching something that wasn’t real, like a dream. I fully expected my dad’s brother to come walking around the corner with a camera taking pictures of the whole thing. That’s just what he would have done.
Grief is weird. One minute you are fine. The next minute a wave of emotion hits you like a tsunami and it comes out your eyes. Weird. And then there is the sadness in the heart.
Mind you, I’m not sad for my uncle. I know where he is. According to God’s promises, those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be saved. They have crossed over from death into eternal life all because of the undeserved grace and mercy of God that is given to us by what Christ accomplished for us through the cross and according to his iron-clad promise.
No, I’m not sad for my uncle. I am rejoicing that he is with his heavenly Father. He is experiencing the joy that never ends. He is looking at what his eyes longed to see for so many years. The theology that he taught to so many people over the years is now his reality. How cool is that!
No, I’m sad for all of us who will miss him temporarily. It’s a moment of sadness, not a lifetime of sadness. It’s a “see ya later” moment, not a permanent good-bye. That’s why those who are Christians don’t become sad the way other people who have no hope grieve. The truth of what Christ has done sets us free.
I think about all the people who have gone before us. I think of all the funerals of loved ones that I have done over the years. In my last parish there were 96 who entered into the kingdom of glory for which I was a part of their memorial celebration. I think of those who have lost loved ones recently. Grief really sucks! Even Jesus knew that. When his friend Lazarus passed away, his eyes leaked too.
Yet deep calls to deep. Deeper than the sadness, stronger than the grief, is the victory we have in Jesus. He overcame the grave! HE CONQUERED DEATH!…so that we who are entangled with sorrow today will have joy tomorrow and live for all eternity.
Peace to you…especially if you are suffering sadness of loss. And peace dear heart of mine. This sadness will pass away like a shadow in the night. When the morning dawns and Christ appears in his splendor, the shadow of death will vanish forever.
May it be so. Come, Lord Jesus, come soon,
Pastor Langdon Reinke