Goodbye, with Hope

Yesterday, a dear friend, Renee, went home to be with the Lord. I got the news when I was hundreds of miles away on a missions trip. Surrounded by people, I grieved alone.

Later that day, another friend, who was also on the trip, came into my room and we grieved together. She reminded me that Renee was with Jesus. No longer suffering but now enjoying her Savior.

I’m amazed sometimes how thoughtful God is. How good He is. How He doesn’t waste anything.

Later that night, our team hosted a church service on base. I ended up sitting in front of three ladies (it was not where I had intended to sit…but God). They were sisters whose mom had recently gone to heaven. They were mourning. They were in pain. They held each other and wept.

One of the sister’s grief was so profound, it manifested as physical pain.

I was able to pray for her arm, and the pain left instantly. We prayed for her neck several times before the pain left. But what these women needed was comfort.

I was able to comfort them as my friend, Barb, had comforted me. I reminded them it was okay to grieve their mom. But we are a people who grieve with hope.

“You will see your mom again. Visualize your mom dancing in heaven. See your mom laughing with Jesus. See your mom resting in Jesus’ arms. She is doing what we all long to do – seeing Jesus, face to face,” I encouraged them.

I comforted these women with the same comfort I had received earlier. God doesn’t waste our pain.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬