My kids love stories, and honestly, I would argue that we all do.
I remember around the age of ten, my dad would read a chapter of the Hardy Boys before bed. As my brothers and I listened, we would become engulfed in the story. However, as exciting as it was, there was always a quiet depression that would begin to set in upon realizing that the chapter was ending.
As we consider grief there are three points that we should consider:
- Realizing Grief Will Come
Many times, the experience of a loved one’s death will bring the same sense of Déjà vu as their story comes to an end. Since the fall, loss has become a continued reality. The scriptures explain that as the descendants of Adam, humanity longs to do whatever can be done to add to the story of life. In the book of Hebrews, the author explains this by saying, that because of the fall, all have been placed under the bondage of death and will do anything and everything to outrun it. (Heb. 2:15) However, just as God brought grace to the garden after the fall, there is grace for our grieving as well.
- Redeeming Our Grief
The good news, the grace, is that the scriptures also give the hope that there is One that has already outrun death on our behalf. When faced with grief, the story of redemption and the new Creation gives hope and comfort. Without the story of redemption pointing to the future, those who grieve must settle for memories of the past. Memories that, while they are wonderful to enjoy, only leave emptiness, longing, and sorrow. (1 Thess. 4:13) But it is in the story of redemption that graces for grieving can be found. Isaiah writes that Christ took our griefs and bore the sorrows that we could never bear. (Is. 53:4) Grief for the sins that we or a loved one committed were borne by Him. The grief over times of failure has been swallowed up by His success. The grief that the loved one has departed is turned into a hope that we will see them again. Because of Christ, even in grief, redemption can be celebrated.
- Resting in Peace
The time at the grave is utterly difficult and the pain of loss is terrible, but it is at an open tomb that we can find an unexplainable peace. As believers, we don’t have to grieve like the rest of the world. (1 Thess. 4:13) We know that because of Christ’s declaration that “it is finished”, we have the promise that the sting of death has been taken away. Because of this, we can rest in peace knowing that at the end of the book of the believer’s life, God has written: “to be continued.”