We have all lost someone we've loved to the cruelty of the grave. When this happens--we are sure to experience grief. Death equals separation and sadness, there's just no way around it. Whether you are a Believer or an unbeliever, mourning is part of our DNA. It's the way God made us.
When my mother died in 1975, I grieved. And after all these years, I still become emotional when I think about the wonderful person she was, and how much I miss her gentleness in my life.
The scripture in I Thessalonians 4:13 (NET) says this,
Now we do not want you to be uninformed,
brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep,
so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope.
This scripture gives me an insurmountable peace of mind. I don't have to grieve like those who have no hope. That phrase in Thessalonians gives me both permission to grieve and instruction in how to grieve.
I may grieve, but I don't have to grieve as a person without hope.
As we end the Thanksgiving season and enter the Christmas season, we often remember our loved ones who are no longer seated at the family table. You have permission--from God--to grieve those empty seats, but in the process remember...God has given us hope.
Today, I am thankful for this amazing gift from the Lord--the hope of being reunited.
I have hope.