Dealing with the Searing Pain of Loss
I just left a hospital where I stood with a family while their loved one passed from this world to the next. The loved one was a believer, a committed follower of Jesus. There is hope and assurance that she is with the Lord now. But extreme pain still remains. They cannot talk to her again. They cannot hold her hand. They cannot see the twinkle in her eye. Or feel her warm embrace.
How do you get through times like this? Here are four primary truths we should remember.
1. Remember you're not alone. We have the assurance of God's presence with us at all times. God has promised that he will never leave or for sake his people (Heb. 13:5). Jesus is with us always (Matt. 28:20). To know the presence of God is to know a peace that can only be known by those who know Jesus.
2. Don't be alone or let others be alone. You need others around you for support and encouragement; even their comforting and reassuring presence without even saying a word. It grieves my heart to know that many people suffer and die alone. As much as possible we ought to be a blessing to others by simply being present. We know how much that means to us.
3. Point people to Christ alone. We can help bear one another's burdens (Gal. 6:2) but we cannot fill the place that only God can fill. Remember that he is the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all of our affliction so that we can comfort others when they are in affliction (2 Cor. 1:3-5). And the comfort we give them is the comfort we have in Christ.
4. Find your hope in Christ alone. At the end of the day when all is said and done, Jesus is our only hope. Don't trade that for any false hope. Cling to Jesus and remember, he holds onto you. Our hope in Jesus is an anchor for our souls (Heb. 6:19). It keeps us grounded and able to bless others even in the midst of immense pain and loss. Our hope is in Jesus Christ crucified, buried, risen, exalted, and returning (1 Thess. 4:13-18).