I received some news a few days ago. A dear friend of mine just passed away. We were not extremely close, but when we first met, there was an immediate bond between us. She was a friend of my heart. Smart. Sharp-witted. Loyal. Sweetest smile. One of those quiet ones, but when she did speak, people listened. I will miss her badly. Knowing she is not here, knowing I won’t see that grin or hear her mischievous chuckle again, brings heartache—and for her family and those who knew her well—one, that words cannot begin to comfort.
We’ve all been there. In one way or another. Friends. Family. Loved ones. One minute they’re here and the next, beyond our grasp. We see it. We know it. But, yet and still, we can hardly fathom it. And our hearts, whether we say it or not, always cry out, “Why?” and “Is it something I did or didn’t do? Is it something I forgot to pray? Did I not have enough faith?”
It’s not the fear of dying that holds us captive. It’s the fear of missing, the fear of being separated, the fear of not seeing a loved one for a very long time or ever again.
The shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept,” has always intrigued me. Going beyond being a description of an event, we see the heart of Jesus as He mourned the death of His good friend, Lazarus. But could it be more? Could Jesus’s tears have been because Lazarus had to taste death at all? The Bible tells us in Psalm 116:15 (NLT), “The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die.” When Jesus died on the cross, He came to know the anguish and torment of death firsthand. Taking our sins upon Himself, He experienced agonizing separation—unlike any we have ever known—from His Father. Crying out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” Jesus, as His Son, took on Himself true death. In His resurrection, He brought us true life.
When leaving this life we may pass through the doors that separate mortality from eternity, but when we know Jesus as our Savior, we will not experience the second death that is talked about in the book of Revelation. One day, we will be reunited with our loved ones who know the Lord. And as Jesus promised, He will wipe away all the tears from our eyes.
There will be no more pain,
No more sorrow, and
No more death.
This was really brought home to me when my Uncle Raymond was dying. Passing away one week after my mom had gone home to heaven, one of the last things he said to his daughter, my cousin, Catherine, was that he saw his two sisters—my mom, Mot, and my Aunt Fay, who also had preceded him—laughing and happy, running through a field of wildflowers. When I think on my mom like that, I can almost see her, a young girl, who was truly free. It’s something I will always hold onto. And when I think of my friend, I can see her reunited with her dear husband who had left this earth a few years back. I can only imagine their smiles when they saw each other again.