"If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied."
1 Cor. 15:19
Tomorrow is the funeral for an acquaintance of mine. A young, homeschooling mom and beloved wife who died suddenly last week. No warning. No chance to say good-bye. I don't understand it. I don't understand why God would take away a vibrant, accomplished woman with two young children. I don't understand why Ruth and Joel's girls have to grow up without their momma. I don't understand why Matt's siblings have to grow up without their brother. There are so many things I don't understand.
But I do understand this. I understand that GOD is bigger than I am. I understand that GOD is not taken by surprise by tragedies or accidents. I understand that GOD is all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-present. He does not miss one second of any of our lives. He knows. He cares. He is here. Right here. In the midst of this. Whatever your this is, He is there. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you.
This knowledge, this understanding, makes all the difference. Yet that's not all. He also wants us to know that there is hope. Hope. It's there. You have to believe it, and you have to keep it. Don't let it go. Remember that "hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."(Romans 5:5)
The journey of grief is indeed dark, but it eventually leads into the light. And along the way, those groping hands of the bereaved are held tightly, caressed by hope's promise. We will not be disappointed. Hang on to hope. Hang on to the One who gives hope.