John 16:22 (NIV)
22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
Losing someone is tough. But we all go through many losses. We lose people. We lose jobs. We lose pets. We lose opportunities. Every day, there are losses. But this is a time when we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom. Many have sacrificed for the cause of freedom. But what about those they have left behind. There are many pictures of children and wives hugging a grave stone that remind us of a greater sacrifice. John 15:13 (NKJV) says 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. What about someone who would lay down their life for someone they don’t even know? They secure the freedom of the yet unborn!
For people of faith, the loss is staggering. It was to me. But Jesus reminds us He will see us again. In fact, we are taught that resurrection will come to all believers so our loss is temporary. Eternal life means our joy will go on forever. Even so, the pain is overwhelming. What about those who do not share in the promise? Will their pain go on forever? Who do you remember today? Were they considered a war hero or are they just a hero to you? Time dulls the memory of the pain and the blessings of the person become more evident. It makes missing them harder. You do heal but you are never the same!
Believers have the promise of seeing their loved one again. How do you comfort someone who does not have that hope? Their loss is forever. Jesus tells us that, if we follow Him, we are His friends and we will bear fruit. And that the Father will give us what we ask in His name. Why not ask for the fruit of kindness? Ask the Father to send His Spirit to those who do not yet believe, that their hearts may be opened to the Good News. Ask Him to draw all people to Himself to share in the promise. Ask Him to deliver on His promise from Revelation 21:4 (NIV) when “4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” That would be the world in which we all want to live. A world in which there were no longer pain to remember.
Lord, You promised us a world without pain or tears. Your offer is extended to all people. Today, we ask you to bring about that promise and extend the offer to people of every nation and tribe. Remove all hatred and bring about Your peace. Open all hearts to Your ways that each may ask You to enter in and abide. May Your peace which passes all understanding manifest itself in everyone bringing about the Kingdom of God here and now. We pray for peace in Your name! Amen!