On The Loss Of A Friend…
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4 (NIV)
I was in the midst of baking cakes when the phone rang. I was expecting a call regarding a delivery, so answered in a business-like manner. It wasn’t the expected courier, it was a friend and I could tell she was upset. She informed me in broken and halting speech that a dearly loved mutual friend had died suddenly in hospital. I thanked her and put down the receiver. My mind was numb. It took some time and many tears for realisation to dawn.
A few hours later I sought the peace of our garden. Sitting in the sunshine I looked down at the lawn with the sun full on the grass. Looking closely, I suddenly saw little bugs and insects moving around, carrying out their little lives. I made the obvious connection, here we are human beings ‘shuffling off this mortal coil’ as Hamlet said, just as all of creation is doing at the same time—living and dying.
King David as a lonely shepherd said in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” All life is given by God and taken by Him. The difference between me and those tiny bugs on my lawn is that God has given me sonship, through and by the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. Romans 8:23 assures us, “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”
Today my ‘groaning’ is poignant as I remember my friend. However I know that she believed in her Saviour and that she is in His loving hands even as I write this. “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24) I am reminded and comforted by Paul’s challenge to death: “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” ( 1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
Jesus is already wiping away my tears with the hope He has placed within me – thank you Lord.
Holy Elder Brother and Saviour of the world, thank you for giving me the hope of a glorious future with my loved ones. Father God, thank you for giving up your only begotten Son to make this possible and to understand bereavement. You, Holy Spirit, are indeed our great Comforter – thank you my amazing Triune God.
Study by Irene Wilson
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
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