From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Dr. Graham:
Is there hope for the living after experiencing the loss of a loved one that leaves us weak and suffering in grief?
Dear G.S.: Even in the midst of grieving, mourners begin to look for glimmers of hope. First, an hour will not go by without thinking of the loss; then a few hours, then a day. They get a good night’s sleep for the first time. A meal tastes good. Slowly, reconstruction begins.
For believers in Jesus Christ, verses of hope seem to appear in the Bible, verses they had previously passed over. Passages they have read many times before suddenly stand out with new clarity, with deeper meaning.
A daughter called her grieving mother and said, just as if no one had ever discovered this verse before, “Listen, Mom, to what Romans 14:8 says, ‘For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.’ Isn’t that great?” This is a true story and the words are truth.
The Bible says we have a God of hope. In the Scripture, we find our hope. Having faith and hope does not mean that we bypass grief, but we can work through it and be strengthened.
Death is an enemy and grief is its companion. But it is all part of life, and for those who put their trust and faith in the Lord, trials bring us closer to Him, allowing us to comfort others in their times of sorrow.
Our grief is not a sign of weakness, but of great love for someone who has been important to us. If there is something we need more than anything else during grief, it is a friend who stands with us, who doesn’t leave us. Jesus is that friend.