In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-1 we read these words “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.
I hate when someone I love passes away, we all do. That place in our lives and heart that was filled with this person cannot be filled by another. We miss their smiles, their conversation and so much more. I remember when my grandmother got so very ill and I knew that she would pass away. She had always been my safe place to run. She had always loved me with the kind of love that does not judge and is always there. She gave me advice and wisdom from the word. Oh, how very much I loved and felt I still needed her.
I remember about a year before her death we had been at the family cemetery and she made the comment that she would probably be the next person that was laid to rest. In felt sick, physically sick at the thought and I said to her, ” I honestly do not think I can survive this earth and life without you hear.” She sweetly replied,”well, of course, you can, God will be right there with you and you will see me again one day.”
I know that my grandmother and all those whom I have loved on this earth who belonged to Jesus and have passed away are not dead. The word tells me that they are asleep. Resting, waiting. They will one day be resurrected and join their sweet souls in the air. Can you imagine, I try to. Knowing that she and others are just asleep gives me a sense of peace and comfort. I know that this rest is the most wonderful, blissful rest they have ever experienced and there is nothing that can interrupt their sleep except Jesus. There are no bad dreams plaguing them, they are not uncomfortable. They are simply waiting. There King, the one they longed to see and be with will return for their bodies one day. Oh, their souls have already been enjoying eternity with Jesus, they have already joined in the praise and worship of their King with the other Heavenly hosts.
Some people see the cold hard ground they are placed in as a bad place, I see the exact opposite. I see a place of protection and peace, closed in comfort. Life comes out of the soil, Adam was made from the dust of the ground, “dirt”. What better place to wait than in the rich earth that was our beginnings!
Our eternity starts the moment we believe, we live it every day. And if Jesus tarries we will all one day die. No one gets out of this life another way, death is the door to the next life. If you are a believer there is promised sleep until his return, but if you are not a believer, that is when you need to fear death. Our souls will spend eternity somewhere, we all have an eternity going on. If you do not know this Jesus, then you will go to hell, a place of utter despair and torture. There is a complete lack of hope in hell, which I personally think is among the worst things. Even on this earth we have moments of deep pain, but we have a hope that things will get better and they do, but in hell, there is no such thing. Nothing for all eternity will get better.
Through our pain when we lose a loved one to death in this life, we can rest assured that their souls are already with the one whom they have loved and that their mortal bodies, that we held and loved will one day be raised and glorified eternally with their Lord. What a wonderful thing to think about and look forward to for them and one day for us! I will leave you with these words.
1 Corinthians 15:54-55 “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on the immortality, then shall come to pass the saying this is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Like a Caterpillar that waits in its cocoon, it isn’t a thing of beauty until it emerges a Butterfly, completely changed!