Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NASB)
I was thinking about how sad this time of year can be for anyone who has lost a loved one. There is certainly reason for that and it is absolutely fine to grieve. At the same time, I was recognizing how joy can genuinely permeate even this difficult time. It truly needs to be addressed that moments of joy are not only okay, but good and right. If you have experienced a tragedy and feel overcome by sadness right now, ask God for joy and wait in expectation.
I know that all of the joy I have is a gift straight from Father God. I am grateful for every bit of it and each person who has been praying for it. This doesn’t mean I am free from sadness. It sucks not having my son here with us right now. I see toys that I know he would love. I wish I could buy them for him and see the excitement on his face on Christmas morning. I miss hugging him and hearing his little voice of encouragement and humor every day.
I also know with every fiber of my being that Bill is alive. That is another gift that I am exceedingly grateful for, because that wasn’t so clear to me right after he passed away. Like Mary in this chapter, I was overcome with tears and paralyzed with shock. She knew her Jesus. She expected Him to show up and rescue her family. I can relate.
In the verses above, Jesus was asking Martha if she believed in who He was and that because of Him His people would live no matter what. Her answer is the answer we must strive to be established in, even in the middle of tragedy. Let’s look at verse 27:
She says to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, the One coming into the world.” (BLB)
It is hard not having a loved one here. The truth is that in view of eternity our time here is just a breath and through Jesus we are promised eternity. Whether I see Bill again in a day, a month, a year, or fifty years, it is like a blink of an eye on the timeline of forever. That perspective keeps me. God is grieved over these losses. We see that too in this Scripture where Jesus wept. Death is His enemy and our grief touches His heart just like Mary’s did that day. May you be filled with the joy of His Presence and the knowledge of a time together where all these tears and tragedies will be wiped away forever. May you still believe in miracles here on earth as in heaven. May God use even our toughest times to draw others into that eternal party through faith in Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life. He has the victory and in Him so do we.