A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the tram near Terminal B in the Denver airport. I watched as a large family approached the tram laughing and talking with several kids in tow. Just as the last child stepped forward to board, the doors slammed shut and the tram departed. Without any warning or preparation, the child was left alone standing on a crowded platform in an unfamiliar place. It was heart-breaking and scary. I felt helpless as I watched it all unfold. There was nothing any of us could do but wait until the step scheduled stop.
Experiencing the death of a loved one can feel a lot like this. We feel helpless as death snatches away our loved ones leaving us desperate and vulnerable, trying to figure out life alone.
We all know death is inevitable but this knowledge has never kept one broken heart from screaming, “This can’t be happening! This is not the way its supposed to be!”
And we are right.
We weren’t designed to process death. The separation we experience when a loved one dies is not the way its supposed to be. We were created for eternal life—not death. It only makes sense that we would experience an overwhelming wave of emotions when forced to say good-bye too soon. We are suffering through an experience we were never meant to endure.
But here’s the good news…the one left behind is never really alone. Psalm 121:8 says, “The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore”. God is on the train and the platform all at the same time. He is the eternal bridge between them both.
“We want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Nothing is beyond God’s ability to redeem—not even death. We can look forward to the day when all will be made whole. The day when we will all be together again.
But for now, for those of us left behind, it is a challenging to hang on to that promise until we finally see it realized on the other side. A grieving heart knows better than anyone that death is not the way its supposed to be…
…and all of heaven agrees.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” –Revelation 21:4