Hope for things to come

Published 2:45 pm Saturday, November 17, 2018

My husband David, had a close Uncle pass away this week.  David handles death well, because he is a Preachers son, and he knows that God is on the other side.  When we were in Mississippi this past weekend, visiting with his Uncle and Aunt; his aunt commented on how she did not know how people without the Lord handled these difficult times.  They have no hope, only sorrow.  David’s family treats funerals more like a celebration.  They are rejoicing that someone had the privilege to go to our real home, with Jesus in heaven.  2 Corinthians 5:8 states “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body, and at home with the Lord.”

I know the person being left behind still struggles with loneliness, but if they have Jesus, they can keep reminding themselves that they are never alone.  God is always with them.  No, it’s not the same, but it is hope.  When you don’t have hope, you have no energy or motivation for any effort, for anything. You say to yourself, “What’s the use in reaching out to people?”  “Why bother exercising, or cleaning your home, or volunteering–it won’t really make a difference.”  “You think you will always be lonely, depressed, anxious, unemployed, or stuck in the same situation that is making you miserable.” You don’t want to risk the pain of further disappointment, by even trying.

But we must remember 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – “But we do not want you to be uninformed brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do, who have no hope.”  We are blessed as children of God.  The scripture tells us that God will bless us here on earth, but especially after we go to heaven.  Revelation 14:13 – “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”  Not only are they resting, but all the work they did here on earth, has followed them, and they will be rewarded for those deeds.

If you have had a loved one pass away, and are feeling hopeless, here are a few things to keep you on track.  Talk about the death of your loved one with friends and colleagues.  Accept your feelings.  People experience all kinds of emotions after the death of someone.  Take care of yourself and your family.  Eating well, exercising, and rest.  Reach out and help others dealing with the loss.  Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved one by donating to a favorite charity of the deceased, framing photos of fun times, passing on a family name to a baby, or planting a garden in memory.

All these things will help you heal and have hope.

Karen Y. Stevens, Founder, Orange County Christian Writers Guild