Separated for a WhileThursday, May 22, 2014
We heard the news that a dear friend passed away this week after a battle with cancer. When I sat down to write a note to her husband, I kept thinking about a phrase someone wrote on her Facebook page. So I wrote this to her husband, also a dear friend of many years. He wrote back to thank me and to say that my words had encouraged him.
I was thinking about you and your sweet wife when I read a note someone put on her Facebook page saying that you are separated from her “for a while.” I thought about that and pondered it and tried to put it in perspective. Tonight it must seem like you have been parted from her forever. I know you know what the Bible says, but death is a powerful foe. Death plays tricks with the mind. Death seems so overwhelming. No wonder Paul calls death “the last enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26).
But if there is a God in heaven . . .
If Jesus Christ is his Son . . .
If he really did die on the cross . . .
If he really did rise from the dead . . .
If he is at this moment seated at the Father’s right hand . . .
If those things are true, then what Jesus said is also true. “Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:26). I do not claim to understand how that can be true. But if Jesus is to be trusted, then what he means is that as to her body she has died, but as to her spirit, she is more alive today than she has ever been.
One day soon, the curse will be reversed, Jesus will return, and you and your sweetheart will be reunited in his presence forever. I conclude that whoever wrote that you are separated for “a while” wrote the truth. The world doesn’t understand it, but that’s okay. We don’t really understand it ourselves. There is still a funeral to go through and a burial and all that goes with it.
But if what Christians have believed forever—and what she herself firmly believed—if that is true, then this painful separation will not be long, and you will see her again, not with cancer, but healed and restored, and more alive than she was on the best day you ever spent with her on the earth.
I write this for myself as much as for you. As the years roll on, and death closes in upon us all, we need to remind ourselves often of what we believe and have staked our lives upon.
I have no fears for her. My prayers are for you and for all your family in these sad days.
We love you guys and are thinking of you. Marlene joins me in sending our love and sympathy. Along with many others, we will miss seeing her on this earth, but we know that in God’s good time, before too long, we will see her again.