EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was previously featured on chucklawless.com.
Recently, my family said goodbye to my mother with a memorial service that I trust honored Mom and glorified the Lord. This was followed by my family celebrating the homecoming of my father-in-law, who recently passed away. Needless to say, the last month has been gut-wrenching at times, but we’ve learned some things that might be helpful to you:
1. The peace God gives may be beyond our understanding (Phil. 4:7), but it’s real nonetheless. In no way can I explain how we’ve rested in the power of God’s grace and the promise of eternal life—but the Lord has made Himself known through it all. We can trust Him when life rages around us.
2. Grieving is right, but we truly do grieve differently than the world does. Frankly, I don’t know how non-believers face the reality of death with any hope at all. My fear is they bank on a false hope that all good people go to heaven apart from a relationship with Jesus. No matter what trouble we believers face in this world, our grief is temporary.
3. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us is supernaturally calming. He is, after all, the Comforter for those who follow Christ. And, it’s beyond my comprehension that God Himself has chosen to take up residence in us. The One who created us now lives in us.
4. Life makes little sense if it all ends in death—but, it doesn’t end there. That was the Apostle Paul’s point, too, in 1 Cor. 15:12-19. Our faith is worthless if there is no resurrection, and life itself loses some of its purpose if the grave is the end. It’s not the end, however.
5. How we live today will determine how we are remembered tomorrow. It’s my blessing to celebrate my mom’s last six months of life after she became a believer, and I’m equally grateful for my father-in-law’s many years of faithfully walking with God. I cannot describe the joy I feel when we talk about their faith.
6. Our worries and anxieties seem a little silly when eternity is in view. Honestly, I’m embarrassed these days about things that have sometimes consumed my thinking in the past. If I believe God is in control of forever, I can surely trust Him with today.
7. The celebration of life ought to also increase our burden over the destiny of the unsaved. I am at complete peace about my mom and my father-in-law. I have no such peace, though, over others I love who don’t yet know Jesus. In fact, my heart anguishes over them today.