“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3 NIV
The most beautiful and precious aspect of life is the ability to love. We were created in the image of God so we are living proof that God is love. And when God created us, He did not clone us; our bodies contain DNA–the carrier of genetic information which results in the uniqueness of every human being. Our features replicate those of our parents, grandparents, or extended family members; yet, our fingerprints are not a shared feature, and those prints are able to distinguish us from every other living individual.
When we experience grief through the loss of those that we love, we lose a vital part of what makes us complete. Think about a puzzle that has many parts that are uniquely shaped, but they interconnect to make the puzzle complete. If there is a missing piece, we must either locate it or discard the puzzle because it will never fulfill its purpose.
Even so, we are not like the puzzle with the missing piece that can never be complete. Yes, goodbyes hurt, we feel powerless, and the void from our loss appears to be an abyss that plunges us deeper and deeper into despondency. However, there is a divine plan for healing and restoration from the impact of our loss.
God was fully aware that separation by death, divorce, and the brokenness of family ties or friendships would bring hurt to our fragile hearts. He has provided a solution to our brokenness: We are able to mourn our loss, even so, we have the ability to move forward through His healing power. It is God who fills the void of the missing piece of our hearts with love, hope, and divine comfort from the Holy Spirit.
After his resurrection, Jesus was fully aware that his disciples would grieve when He would ascend and return to His heavenly home. Before His crucifixion and death, He took the time to lovingly prepare them (read John, chapters 14-17) for the time of their separation; although they did not fully understand.
And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Comforter [the Holy Spirit], that he may abide with you forever. John 14:16
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. You heard me say, I am going away and I am coming back to you. John 14:27 NIV
I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father. John 16:28
John 17:6-19 records Jesus’ prayer for the protection and sanctification of his disciples. Because of His love, Jesus also prayed for all Believers:
…Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. John 17:24
God sent His only begotten Son–Jesus Christ to die for us. While on this earth as a human, Jesus experienced loss from death, and separation from His family and friends. The sadness and expression from Lazarus’ sister Martha: “Lord, Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died,” may cause us to believe that Jesus did not care when the two sisters sent the message that their brother was sick. But that was not the case; Jesus delayed his intervention to give glory to God by staying where he was for two additional days.
When we read the scriptures, we realize that Jesus was close to the family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, and as He approached the tomb of Lazarus, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:1-44). God desires for us to know that when Jesus lived on this earth that He was human and felt the grief of death; the Son of God knows from personal experience the devastating feelings of brokenness and separation of loss. And remember that Jesus died for the remission of our sins, and was resurrected on the third day–He Arose!
Oh yes, we have hope!
O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Corinthians 15:55
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18
And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:12-14
Dear God: I pray for the healing and comfort that only you can provide for those of us who are experiencing the pain of loss from the death of loved ones, from the brokenness of severed marriages, family ties, and friendships. I humbly ask you to send your Holy Spirit to provide the balm to soothe our grieving hearts. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. ©
Sonya Johnson Ruiz