God had performed a big miracle in her life before, and I wanted him to do it again. For the last year, I watched her walk by faith the path of biopsies, radiation, and chemotherapy and the numerous side effects that were exacerbated by her Type 1 Diabetes. Her sickness had brought us to this final earthly meeting, bedside at a Hospice house. I thought I was prepared to say goodbye, as I knew she would soon be rejoicing in a healed body with Jesus. Yet for some reason I found myself selfishly praying for another day.
Even when we know the time has come and ultimate healing is part of God’s plan, it’s still hard for us to experience the loss of someone we love. When the time of death comes, even our best emotional preparation is lacking.
Jesus attempted to prepare His disciples for his death and Matthew includes in his gospel how the disciples felt.
“When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.”Matthew 17:22-23 (NIV)
As Christ revealed His plan to his disciples, verse 23 tells us the men were filled with grief. The disciples had the advantage of walking with Christ in the flesh during His earthly ministry. They were men who were able to listen to Jesus’s teaching and watch him perform miracles. These same men who were chosen to be used by the Holy Spirit for the spread the gospel, following Christ’s ascension. Most of these godly men continued in faithful ministry even at the expense of their earthly lives.
In the Matthew passage, we see the humanness of these men we view as spiritual superheroes. Even when Jesus coupled the news of His death with the herald of His resurrection- they grieved. There was no amount of preparation that would have taken away their feeling of grief.
We can find comfort in knowing that we, like the disciples, will have times filled with grief. However, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 instructs us in how to grieve and handle our emotion of grief as a believer. We are not to grieve like the rest of mankind but to grieve with hope.
We can be encouraged as believers to grieve differently, because we have hope. -Marcy Martin @inthequiver #grief #hopeTweet
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NIV)
We can be encouraged as believers to grieve differently, because we have hope. A hope that comes from believing in the gospel, which is rooted in His deep love for us.