You’re going to die. Whoever is around at that moment will take you to the funeral home where someone will prepare your body for burial. You’ll be dressed up and cleaned up and made to look somewhat natural. There will be a funeral service where the preacher will say some kind words. People will cry and remark about how much they miss you. Songs will be sung. Prayers will be said. The casket will be closed and you’ll be placed in the ground. I don’t mean to be crude. It’s just a simple fact that we’re all going to spend some time in a box eventually. Unless of course the Lord comes back before we die, we’re all going to do some “Box Time.” Everyone who has ever lived has died. That’s the report from the cemetery. However, while death seems so permanent, it’s not. We’re not going from the land of the living to the land of the dying. It’s just the opposite. Death does not have the last word. Death is not the end of our story.
Do you realize that God celebrates death? Psalm 116:15 reads: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” Also consider Revelation 14:13, which reads: “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.” God celebrates death! The physical death of one of His children is not heart-rending to Him. It is precious in His sight. Death, which is so traumatic and so heart-breaking to us, is considered a blessing from God’s perspective. Hopefully, through our mourning and through our grief we can smile with confidence knowing that our loved one is at home with the Lord. We always want what’s best for those closest to us. Well, death is better for the one who dies in Christ.
The next time you visit the grave of your dear loved one. As you’re standing there or kneeling there and talking to them, read this passage out loud:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thess. 4:13-18).”
Be reminded of the fact that we do not grieve as those who have no hope. The emotional scars that you bear right now are scars of hope. A glorious future awaits. In no way can it compare with the despair you’re experiencing at this moment. There is beauty from the ashes. I know it’s difficult, but we shouldn’t feel sorry for the child of God who has gone home. And the sorrow we feel should never override the hope that is found in Christ. Reflect on all of this, and then say to your loved one, “I miss you, but I’ll see you again.”