“One of the hardest things you will ever have to do is to grieve the loss of a person who is still alive.” Anonymous
I read this quote the other day and my heart was touched and felt God’s hug. This quote has such deep meaning in my family today, yet I know so many others suffer along with us. Over the years, I have heard so many people question their grief and why it is happening to them. In the midst of such pain, it is easy to cry out and blame God for allowing such a burden to be laid at our feet. I have thought and wondered the same many times, but watching my mother in law perish before our eyes is a deep grief that at times makes my husband and I feel numb because we know that the pain of the end is still in front of us. Today she does not even know us when we walk in the room. She can’t really remember the details of her past (or so we believe). She lives in tiny moments as they pass through her head which can be in the moment or in the past but the connections to the people around her are not made, so she can not call our names and does not act as if she knows who we are when we enter the room. I know she would not have chosen this ending for herself because she would not want her son and granddaughters to be grieving for her loss even as she lives. Why has God chosen this path for her? for us? I can only find solace in scripture. Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
She is just one among us who is lost yet lives. Accidents, illnesses, diseases, and age strips so many that we love from our daily lives. This pain is sometimes hard to bear and even harder for others to understand. We can be angry with God and turn from him, but watching the pain within our family has lead me to God as the one who truly understand. God, who was stripped of his son, sacrificed his son, delivered his son to the enemy, that we might all live. Scripture also reminds us that God allowed his Son to endure Hell for us, “(In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?” Ephesians 4:9.) He understands our deepest grief like no one can.
So as we grieve daily for the loss of my mother in law from our lives, and await her entrance into his hands, we are thankful that she will one day enter the gates of Heaven. We know she loves God, believes in God, and will one day walk with God in a body that is not mangled by a debilitating disease. This is our greatest gift from her, her love for both God and his son Jesus Christ. The words of Psalm 119:50, “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
We must find God in this grief and loss and believe that his son Jesus Christ gave us a future to rejoice. 1Peter 1: 6-7 reads, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith -more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire- may be found to result in glory and honor at the relegation of Jesus Christ.” This reminds me of one of my husband’s favorite songs, “One of These Days” by FFH. Be sure to read all the lyrics sometime, but this particular line is a reminder that grief will pass for her and for us and one day only Joy through Christ will exist.
One of these days I’ll finally be
In a place where there’s no more need
No more pain and no more grief
No more foolish disbelief
And all the joy there will be
When at last we finally see
One of these days
Closing Verse: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up, what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance..” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
Challenge: When your heart feels bitter in the pain of loving someone you are losing, turn to God and scripture and find peace in his arms. God is your Heavenly Father who knows your grief and will soon bring you to a time to dance in his glory.