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Times of Mourning
Sunday, July 08 2012

May Christ Comfort You...

Jesus offers us comfort with these words:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  -John 14:1-3, NAB

Recently, a young woman, who is a very close friend, lost her father.  She has already dealt with losing her mother, as well, and it made me reflect on our times of loss and grieving.  For anyone else who may be grieving, may you find comfort in Christ's words.
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Jesus teaches us that there is plenty of room in Heaven for all of us, and when it is our time to go, He will personally come take us there.  This not only quiets the fear of our own death, but also comforts us when we losed a loved one.  Through Christ, we have the hope of eternal life.

What is Heaven like?  None of us really know for sure; however, we know that we will be reunited with our loved ones and, more importantly, we will be with our Lord.  Do we really need more than that?  I can't tell you how heaven looks, smells, or feels, but I can tell you it will be more wonderful than we could ever imagine.

The loss of a loved one - our spouses, parents, grandparents, siblings, and children - can be some of the darkest times of our lives.  We will miss them; there is little we can do about it.  Yet, hope in everlasting life can bring us peace.  At a time when the world seems so dark, God provides us a ray of light.  

I know there is little that I, a mere mortal man, or anyone else can do to comfort you during a time of grief.  All I can do is point you to the one who can give you comfort and hope - Jesus Christ.  As Jesus tells us in the Beatitudes:

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.  -Matthew 5:4, NAB

Some will find comfort in the arms of Jesus; others will become angry and turn away.  In my own life, my sister passed away a few years before I was born, and it was something that my mother has struggled with for almost 40 years now.  She turned from God and hoped to find healing on her own.  I can tell you, as sad as it makes me, that we will never find comfort in this way.  One day, I hope that she, too, can find the peace and hope that only Christ can give.

Loss impacts all of our lives.  We can try to live in a bubble, but grief will still find its way in.  Instead of avoiding our grief and turning our back on God, we must realize that it is at these times that our faith can matter the most.  Christ offers us hope and healing, if we only will allow Him in.

Heaven is not full yet; God has room for you, for me, for all of our loved ones.  Until we get there, may the Lord bring you peace, healing, and hope in His loving arms.


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