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And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  – Revelation 21:4 (KJV)

Today many friends and healthcare co-workers joined to say goodbye to a friend and to provide love and support to the family and to each other.  It was a day of sadness for us.  The encouragement by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 is that as believers we grieve when a loved one dies, but not as those that have no hope.  This friend had the testimony of several witnesses that her faith was securely planted in the promise of eternal life through the work of Jesus Christ.  This “Celebration of a life” had moments of laughter, but the sadness still lingers for those that are left behind.

A wise king said that “Sorrow is better than laughter” but that lesson is a difficult one to learn (Ecclesiastes 7:3a). Here are three brief lessons that we can learn from sorrow.

1) Sadness of countenance (the expression of sorrow) results in healing of the heart (the inside) –  (Ecclesiastes 7:3b).  Failure to properly grieve the loss of a loved one never ends well.  There are several examples in Scripture where the people of God mourn their dead and adequate time is provided for healing.  Coming together as we did today allowed us to take the first dose from the Great Physician’s prescription for healing that feeling of loss.

2) Sorrow reveals how much we value those that we have lost.  The shortest verse in our English Bible is John 11:35 which simply says “Jesus Wept”.  The folks who witnessed this responded, “Behold how he loved him!”  Relationships are one of the most important ingredients of a significant life.  When we grieve we honor the one we loved and lost as having a significant life.

3) Enduring the depths of sorrow allows us to fully experience the heights of true joy.  The psalmist sings, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” – Psalm 30:5.   This is a sign that healing has started.  Having grieved adequately, the God of All Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) restores our joy as He brings to us His comfort.


8/29/14  In memory of Becky Gibbs RN

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