The Ultimate Healing

In the last six weeks, it has been all around me.  Not just the old, but in the young and vibrant too.  Like leaves dropping from the trees during the fall season, so too has humanity around me.  The death of loved ones.  It’s almost as though…akin to the change in the seasons of nature….there too are seasons associated with death.    

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to Himself.

Philippians 3: 20-21

In my social circle alone, I can think of six individuals that have passed unexpectedly or from a serious illness like cancer.  For the relatively young and healthy, the sentiment is that they had years left to live – a journey left to walk out here on earth.  The future held so much, and it’s all gone. Spouses, children, and friends are left behind to deal with the immense sorrow of loss.  It can feel cruel and unfair, leaving many swallowed up in feelings of loneliness and asking “How will I go on?”  Many say time heals all things.  I think they are wrong. Instead, you learn to live with the loss in a new normal. 

For a great deal of people, this type of intense hurt is a huge stumbling block their Christian faith.  It is a crossroads; one where the hurt trumps any ability to believe that a good and loving God could coexist.  It prompts the question “How can a loving God allow me to hurt so bad?”  And, what a valid question it is!  Even Christians, if honest, will admit to the struggle that surrounds that question during times of intense hurt.  Or, at least, I will.  There is no shame in asking it, and it deserves a response. So, here it goes.

When you find yourself asking this question, I want to direct you back to His promises.  First Thessalonians says “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have died” (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-14).  My friends, what Paul is saying here is that grief is, first and foremost, very real and expected. It can feel like an insurmountable weight that has left us buried.  Nonetheless, we are told to bind our grief to the hope of God’s promise of eternal life in Christ.  The old order will pass and a new heaven on earth awaits Christians.  It is described as a glorious place!  A place of infinite beauty and peace.  A place where we will be reunited with our fellow Christians.  God instructs us to hold on to the promise of this future home and fully-healed body; one that the Bible gives us a small glimpse into, but that we won’t fully comprehend until we’ve arrived.

And so, to answer that question….both hurt and a loving God can exist. When I visualize talking with God, and asking him the difficult question of “Where were you during my times of grief?”, I imagine His response to be “The same place I was when my Son died a terrible death on the cross.”  He too was grieved. Our faith in God does not lessen the pain, but it offers us a supernatural comfort that He fully understands our grief and will hold us in the palm of His hand.

My friends, even when you feel the despair, remember there is hope in Christ.  The tomb was empty.  Grab ahold of the brevity of that.  Jesus rose from the dead, and so shall His followers.  For those of us left behind, it is no doubt difficult.  There is LOOOOOOONG suffering.   But, for those that have passed and had a relationship with Christ, we can be assured of their new life in heaven. 

I can hear many of you thinking it….what about our beloved friends and family that we are left guessing their fate because we were unsure of their salvation or very sure of their rejection of Christ? For those people, we are simply left to pray for them and trust that our Maker is a just and holy God.  That’s certainly a hard one for me. My mind wants to sort that out, yet I am called to trust God and leave judgement to Him alone.

We were never built to live in a world with sin.  We were made to live without sin and death, in perfect union with God.  But, until Jesus returns, we will continue to suffer the pain associated with death here on earth.  Death – it is the great equalizer – and eventually comes for us all.   Are you spiritually prepared for death?  Are you sharing the message of salvation with those around you in word and by the way you live?  “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my world and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

I leave you with this……a poem that is near and dear to my heart.


One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

– Margaret Fishback Powers

xo Carre

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