Grief in the Present vs. Love in the Past (Love wins everytime)

As I sit here finishing my preparation to take part in a funeral service for a dear brother in Christ, I am reminded once again of how precious life is! Life is not something that we ask for, nor is it something that we deserve, but every day that we live on this earth is truly a priceless gift from God.

Saturday night my wife and I watched the BBC version of Shadowlands (one of the joys of Netflix, and much better than the Anthony Hopkins/Debra Winger version), the story of C. S. Lewis and his wife, Joy. As Joy was dying with cancer, she asked Lewis, “Jack, was it worth it?” In other words, is it worth going through the pain and grief now, and in the future, in order to have been able to share love in the past? Lewis’s answer to that question in 1960 was the same answer that I would give today, “Absolutely!” One’s grief, and the intensity of it, is simply the evidence of the love that one was blessed to share in time and space with another.

The love shared in the past is part of what gives meaning to the sorrow experienced in the present. And, for the Christian, we have the added encouragement that the words that Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica are still true for us today:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)  

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