My grandma died this week.
As far as we know, she died without Jesus.
The news of her death brought immediate heartache, pain and tears....and a genuine feeling of hopelessness. The weight of "it's too late" pressed down and left a numbness in it's place. A void that can't easily be filled. An unsettledness that drives words away and leaves a loud silence.
What hope is there in the knowledge that one I have loved so dearly may forever be separated from God? How could mourning and grieving ever give way to peace, let alone joy, when I consider my grandma and her soul?
These are questions I have been asking myself.
And as I contemplated the Word of God, as I read some wise thoughts from others*, and as I began to preach truth to myself...I was reminded that hope and joy and peace are never found by looking horizontally at others. True hope and joy and peace only come from one Source. They come from God. They come from fixing our eyes on His character and His truth. "Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always." (I Chron. 16:11) Only when I start there, can I see the horizontal through a proper lens and, only then, can I find hope in what seems hopeless, joy in the midst of pain, and peace where there seems to be no peace.
Here are just a few of the truths that are helping me to see this situation through a Biblical lens:
God is good: "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever." Psalm 107:1
God always does what is right: "The Lord is righteous in all His ways and gracious in all His acts." Psalm 145:17
God's plans have been ordained before time began: "...as I have planned, so it will be; as I have purposed it, so it will happen." Isaiah 14:24
God's ways are not my ways: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways." This is the Lord's declaration. "For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
God is compassionate and merciful: "Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. Happy are all who wait patiently for Him." Isaiah 30:18
God is enough: "I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him." Lamentations 3:24
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13