Our greatest fear is death…for the mostly obvious reasons. But, I am learning that as you get older the fear shifts from fear for yourself to concern about those that you are leaving behind. We worry about them being sad or lonely or mourning. But thankfully we Christians are also familiar with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. One particular blessing speaks to this in a way I just now figured out with the passing of a dear family member.
Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the mourners for they will be comforted’. I always wondered about that because I have lost a brother and have seen my mother lose a child. I am pretty sure that my mother has not received true comfort from any of the heartfelt condolences offered, as sweet and well intended as they were. And then, how is it possible to bring comfort to someone that has lost a spouse? What could anyone say to comfort me in that situation? Then it struck me – I’m a Christian! The knowledge that I am saved, and that it is God’s will that all be saved. That gives me comfort – the only comfort that lasts. Spending eternity together with God and the rest of His children including those that may have already passed from this world is the definition of comfort I am now seeing.
Of course, any separation is horrible. But what is the only real comfort we have when we are separated from a loved one, regardless for how long? Only the knowledge of reunion is consolation. Just the realization of seeing again those departed brings the joy of that expectation. This is the good news – this is what Jesus meant – it is the promise of the Kingdom of God that brings ‘true’ comfort to the mourners. None of us were made for this world, but our eternity will be spent in God’s presence with the rest of His children. That is the blessing that we have been given, and can only come from a God that loves us as His own. Be comforted by that…
(In loving memory of a good man – Tom Manaskie)