The Voice of Zion October 2020 --
Working on this issue of the Voice of Zion has impacted the Communications staff deeply. We found ourselves discussing the selected theme, grief and loss, on a daily and extended basis. With each article, some detail reminded us of a time in our lives when death was close and oppressive. We relived pain, and for some of us, we experienced grief that had been repressed for years.
Loss of loved ones strikes each of us at some time in our lives. The inevitability of death is assured throughout the Bible, and the knowledge of death gives leverage to God’s law when a person commits sin.
But even as death is inevitable, it is also shocking when it happens suddenly. Recent deaths confirm this sad truth. Without preparation afforded by old age or extended illness, sudden death adds another dimension to the sorrow for family and friends left behind to mourn. “We didn’t get to say goodbye” or “I didn’t tell him I loved him often enough” are statements heard at funerals and memorial services. Some therapists recommend that aggrieved people write a good-bye letter or poem to help them in their grief.
In God’s kingdom, we can offer comfort of God’s promise for everlasting life in heaven when a person dies in living faith. This is a gift to those who are grieving. However, when death comes to a loved one who did not own faith, we often find a profound emptiness and loss. We may all feel this inexpressible sadness sometime in our lives and that is when it can become difficult to accept that God gives life and God takes life in His time. We cannot comprehend His ways, and therefore, we wish to accept without bitterness His taking of life.
Instead of anger or bitterness toward what God has willed, we can remember that God promises to wipe away each tear. God will take the saddest, the weariest, the ones lost in grief – and comfort them. For God, all things are possible, including peace and rest for the sorrowful.
Though we feel grief, we can remember with gratitude the deceased one’s time on this earth, the joy and comfort they brought others, good moments and happy memories. For us all, the realization of life’s brief span gives strength to endeavor for a moment, putting away sin and keeping heaven as our goal.
In heaven there will be no sorrow, fear or doubt. There will be no memory of life on earth, of those things that weighed on us here. In heaven we will no longer mourn. Instead, there will be joy, everlasting joy. Let us cling to this hope, even as our tears flow in this life. Let us endeavor to believe so that one day that joy will be ours.
Christ assures: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4).