Updated: Feb 28
My kids love stories, and honestly, I would argue that we all do. I remember around the age of ten or eleven, my dad would read a chapter of the Hardy Boys to us before bed. As my brothers and I listened, we would become completely engulfed in the story. But as exciting it was, I’m not sure I know how to explain the quiet depression that would set in when realizing that the chapter was coming to a close.
It seems that when we experience the death of a loved one, we almost get a sense of Déjà vu as their story comes to an end. But there is grace for our grieving.
The scriptures tell us that as the descendants of Adam, we long to do whatever we can to add to the story of life. The author of Hebrews explains this by saying that because of the fall, we have been placed in the bondage of death and we do everything that we can to outrun it. (Heb. 2:15) The scriptures also give us the hope that there is One that has already outrun death for us.
When faced with grief, the story of redemption and new creation gives us hope and comfort. You see, without the story of redemption pointing to the future, we must settle for memories of the past. Memories that, while they are great to enjoy, only leave us with an empty longing and sorrow. (1 Thess. 4:13) But it is in this story of redemption that we can find grace for our grieving.
Isaiah tells us that Christ took our griefs and bore those parts of our sorrows that we could not bear. (Is. 53:4) Grief for the sins that we or a loved one committed were borne by Him. The grief over the times that we failed is swallowed up by His success, and the grief that the loved one has departed is turned into a hope that we will see them in Christ. Even in grief, we celebrate redemption.
The time at the grave is difficult. The pain of loss is raw and terrible, but an open tomb brings us unexplainable peace.
As believers, we don’t grieve like the rest of the world. We know that because of His eternal story of redemption, God writes at the end of each of the books of the believer's life “to be continued”.