Over two years ago, my college roommate’s sister was in a traumatic car wreck while on her way back to school for the Spring semester. She was in the hospital and other forms of intensive care and therapy, but never recovered well. Five months after the wreck, she passed away. I remember going to her funeral, which truly was a celebration of her life, yet sobbing through the whole thing. A lively nineteen year old with her whole life ahead should not die so tragically. Yet we lost her anyways. But even in the midst of such devastating heartbreak, my roommate Chelsea astounded me with the way she lived. Because here’s the truth for us as Christians: when we deal with death, it forces us to live in hope.
In The Bridge, a young adult ministry at my church, we’ve been going through the book of 1 Thessalonians. And today, my heart is reminded of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
Last week, one of the leading pastors in America, Rick Warren, lost his 27 year old son. Warren and his family will no doubt carry the loss of their beloved son with them for the rest of this earthly life. However, (and this is a BIG “HOWEVER!”) they do not grieve as people without hope. Hope that one day, the Lord will redeem, restore, and make all things new!
One of the biggest marks that distinguishes us as Christians is the hope that we have. For we know that the loss and grief during this life is only temporary, as we serve a glorious Savior who is beyond time. And beyond death! We serve a God who lives!
And because we serve the living God, there will be a day of no more tears. No more pain. No more death. No more sadness.
So let me leave you with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 22:20, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen.
Come, Lord Jesus!