For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)
By the time I was 38 years old, all of my grandparents had died as well as both of my parents. By age 45, I had also lost one of my two sisters. Each of these losses was a heartbreaking event.
Trusting God’s Word, the Bible, has been paramount in helping me keep my sanity through these grief journeys. When I’m longing so desperately to call my mom and ask her what was in a recipe, or to celebrate with Daddy one of my son’s touchdowns, I try to remember that this world is temporary. I WILL see my family again.
We, as people, are bound by time and limited understanding of all things, but God is not. He knows the big picture, and He’s painting it one brilliant brushstroke at a time. Satan may get in the way. Wanting glory and credit for the masterpiece himself, he may try adding a few jagged black smears. Sometimes we blame God for what looks like a blurry mess. Nevertheless, God can still turn those big black marks of death and pain and disease into a work of beauty if we trust Him that there is more to life than just what we can see dimly here on earth.
But while I’m still here, I’ve got living to do. I often think, when I’m sad and missing my family greatly, about what I want to tell them when I see them again. I don’t want to tell them that I was so busy grieving their loss that I missed out on joyful living. I think they would look at me with complete surprise that I didn’t get it!
This life here on earth is short. I’ll have forever with them when I get to Heaven to join them. I can’t imagine their disappointment if all I have to tell them is that I missed them so much my world stopped, and I didn’t laugh again, or play again, or trust the Lord that I really would see them again.
I’m not saying there isn’t a time to mourn, but that in trusting that Jesus is real and that there truly is a Heaven, we can have a sense of peace that there’s something more than just this earth and then we die. Take courage! An Artist is at work on the masterpiece of our life, and soon we will enjoy clearly the big unveiling with all our loved ones.
Trusting God as the Artist of our life, allows us to endure the grief strokes and keeps our focus on the big reveal of God’s final masterpiece for us.
Lord, give me the strength to trust You in the midst of grief and loss. Remind me to focus on seeing You face to face when all I see here is dim. Thank You for providing us with eternal life and with the hope of seeing our loved ones again. Amen.
For basic expectations during times of grief, consider reading Good Grief by Granger E. Westberg.
For more encouragement, check out Dallas’ book, Feasts of Faith: Finding Jesus in the Jewish Feasts.