"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Corinthians 12:9b

Monday, June 11, 2012

Grieving in Hope

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…we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13,17b, 18
My mother walked in from shopping with a friend to find out my father was dead.
My parents were visiting some dear friends. The women went shopping while the men went fishing on their favorite stretch of river. My mother’s life, as she had known it for 42 years, ended in a split second when they returned from shopping and the son of her friends explained that my father had died. Their plans for trips, a cabin, and retirement time together, were exchanged for a life of learning how to go on alone.
She has become a source of strength and inspiration to everyone who knows her. My dad told her that if something ever happened to him, she must go on and live her life doing the things they would have done, not sitting around mourning his loss. The other reason is her deep and unfailing reliance on God, and her acceptance of His sovereignty and loving wisdom.
She has led Bible studies, been to Israel and Hawaii, bought a cabin at age 75, been an involved grandma to her eight grandchildren, and served as an encourager, to her four daughters, and countless friends. Her season of grief has become a life of loving service to others.
Death is a part of life. As Christians, we are not to give up and sit on the sidelines feeling sad and alone. Loss should move us closer to the Lord, causing us to seek Him with more diligence, and to live to the fullest. God does not want grief and loss to paralyze us. Every experience in life is meant to grow us and allow us to touch the lives of others in new ways with His love and hope. Holding onto pain makes us useless. Releasing that pain to God enables us to comfort and aid others in need.
At my mom’s insistence, we wrote the Bible verse at the top of this page in the thank you notes. Yes, we grieve, but our grief must have the inseparable component of hope, the certainty that as believers we will see our loved ones again. Unlike my dad, if your loved one was an unbeliever, you must be able to leave their fate to God in faith and trust.
For the Christian, out of grief should spring hope, and out of hope springs abundant life.

© Copyright 2012 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Norma, your mom is walking in faith. Outstanding!

    I just read your devotion at Christian Devotions US about perfect timing. It meant a great deal to me. I am currently searching for a job. It has taken far longer than I expected, although God has provided temporary employment during this period. I am very thankful.

    I am a retired educator, and I have recently begun a blog with activities for children based on calendar events each month. The blog is calld "A Writer's Playground." I am hoping it will be helpful to homeschool parents. Would you be willing to take a look at it? I would appreciate that very much. The site is www.lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com. You can contact me at landersen74@yahoo.com

    Thanks so much!