This is a special week of remembrance for me. Both my father and my mother-in-law who have passed on would have celebrated their birthdays this week. In addition, over the weekend, I was able to take a quick trip to Sweden to honor the memory of my closest cousin, who had passed away in January, just two days after his 64th birthday. I’m always rather introspective and solemn this week. I guess that this year with the Covid pandemic all around us, I’ve been thinking even more about just how short life is; just how fleeting even a breath can be.
Way back in 1995 when my mom died, several teachers from the public school where I taught attended the funeral. I still remember with such clarity when one teacher approached me after the service. She said, “I’ve attended many funerals in my life, but this was the first one where the family was given any hope.” I smiled, for she had heard the message loud and clear. As a Christian, I can live my life with hope. This isn’t the wishful thinking kind of hope where we say we hope such and such will happen. This is that blessed assurance that God will be there for us right up until the end and beyond. What God has promised, He is faithful to do! In 1 Thessalonians 4, the Apostle Paul even reminds us: “do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”
What am I talking about? The Bible has so many verses where God has shared with us what life after death will be like. He has promised eternal life with Him to those who believe (John 5:24). He has prepared a place for us (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:9). He will transform our earthly bodies (Philippians 3:20-21). The Apostle Paul states that he is confident and willing “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Even with these descriptions, we must acknowledge along with Paul: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”1 Corinthians 2:9
Even though I grieve here on the earth the loss of those most precious to me, I know that I will be reunited with them. That is what makes it possible to live a life filled with hope and joy. I desire for you all to experience this same assurance.
“Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” John 11:25-26
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Director