I went to sleep last night with tears drying on my face as I wrestled with God again. A beautiful and amazing woman went home to be with Jesus last night…no, we weren’t very close…I didn’t know her that well…but I know people who deeply loved her and who were “her people.” I am desperately hurting for them and have no avenue by which to help them other than pray (I know…I know…prayer is huge but it sometimes feels like it’s not enough…bordering on blasphemy again I suppose…but it’s true.) I was struggling with God over this because we’ve all heard the trite statements before of “she’s in a better place” and “she’s feeling no pain now.” While those statements are true, and while I know the speaker means for them to be encouragement…well, they sometimes fall a little flat. So, I thought that along with the wrestling I’m doing, I would try dissect this topic a little bit this morning.
Death sucks. I don’t believe that God ever intended for us to know death. We are eternal beings but we are currently saddled with breakable, fragile bodies. We were never intended to know broken-ness, pain, death, separation from God, and separation from each other…but that is our reality right now. If you are like me, you feel torn in two different directions when faced with the death of a loved-one that you know is going to spend eternity with Jesus. You are happy for them because they are going to be with Jesus. They are going to feel no more pain. They are going to cry no more tears. They are going to spend every moment from here out with their Creator and Savior. But, you don’t have a way to interact with them anymore. You can’t call them, hug them, or hear their voice again. You can’t sit down with them and have conversations. So, now, an eternal being doesn’t feel eternal anymore. There is rupture in this. There is broken-ness in this. Our souls are robbed of a piece of eternity because we don’t get to be with them anymore on this side of heaven and reconciling this is difficult.
So, here is what I’m thinking: We are eternal beings but we currently exist in temporal vessels. The only way we have to interact with each other and the world is through these breakable bodies that we are in. So, when we lose a loved-one, our sadness is not a lack of faith in their eternity…it is mourning over not being able to interact with them in the same way anymore. We are at a loss because we don’t know how to still connect with them and that is painful and confusing.
I also think that we don’t allow ourselves to mourn properly. I’m not saying that there is a right way…just the opposite, in fact. Me? Well, I have chided myself in the past for not getting on with things, for feeling sad or depressed over loss, for “wallowing” in it. But, God gave us an entire range of emotions so that we would FEEL. Not so that we would numb it and get over it. I’m not saying that we should live in the negative emotions…but…well, we shouldn’t feel guilt over feeling them. It’s ok to experience them. It’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be angry. It’s also ok to remember the good times and laugh too. God created all of these emotions for us and he can handle whatever we are throwing at him…so go ahead, take it to him…take all of it to him and know that whatever you are feeling is ok.
I usually have some sort of challenge at the end of these musings but today, I just want to say this:
1. If you have people in your life that you love, let them know in whatever way you can. Love them well…it points them to Jesus and is one of the few eternal things in this life.
2. Give your body a break. It is what you use to interact with everyone and everything around you. It is a blessing regardless of whether it hurts, looks the way you think it should, or even betrays you at times. Without it, you would have nothing that resembles your life. So, let it rest. Feed it well. Take care of it. Even pamper it. And try to remember that you’re not the only one who suffers when your body begins to fail…the people who love you are facing losing you one day as well. And they aren’t concerned with your looks or whether you have a few extra pounds…they love you…your essence.
Praying for you to all love well today and give yourselves a much-needed break. Much love friends!