“We have been so blessed by the outpouring of love and concern we've received due to the passing of Melanie's father, Dale, just a few days ago. Our grieving process continues but, as I reminded those who attended the funeral, there is also an undergirding sense of peace in knowing that someday ahead, there is a reunion coming (I Thessalonians 4:13)! What comfort and hope that we who know Him have! "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (I Corinthians 15:55)!”
Why would anyone refuse to embrace this truth? To hold it close to his or her heart? To rejoice in the fact that the apostle Paul was writing not about temporary earthly healing but eternity in a land free of sorrow and suffering – a land of total joy?
For the first three-quarters of my life, I was one of those people. I refused to seek out the truth about what happens beyond the grave, settling instead for a vague bit of wishful thinking that there might be Someplace and it might be Really Cool and Really Fun for everyone but Hitler. It was a perfect platform for total despair when I finally faced the biggest loss of my life.
"But God" is a phrase that is repeated 47 times in the New King James translation of the Bible, referring to the fact that nothing on this earth can thwart His purposes -- not even a hard heart. As He has promised, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved” (Acts 2:21b). And that promise is the door to unshakable certainty, peace, and joy.
If you are not absolutely certain about the reunion that Eric Barger highlights, and about your eternal destiny, I hope you'll make this the day that you find both. Repent and trust in Christ. Then, to develop “eternal eyes” capable of viewing all life’s circumstances with peace and even joy, delve into His word. The sincere seeker of His truth will find it. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote circa 600 B.C., “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
If you already know Him, please join me in renewing your commitment to sharing His truth with the lost. Yes, in doing so we will run into scoffing and rejection and all manner of persecution, but remember Jesus’ words in John 15: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” Proclaiming the Gospel is the best way to express our love for others, whatever the cost may be to us personally.
Remember, too, that “there is a reunion coming.” We need to do whatever we can to make sure those we care for will be there.