I first heard the term “grieving with hope” when my pastor called the day after Melanie died. I didn’t recall hearing that before, but today I cling to it like my own personal life preserver. Why? Because it means I will see my daughter again. It means that this isn’t the end. I will get to wrap my arms around her and tell her how much I love and miss her.
The term grieving with hope comes from a scripture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, 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.” NLT
Though I’m grateful for this promise the reality of it is this – while we are on this side of heaven there will still be grief. No matter who you are, at some point in your life you will encounter grief, pain, and sadness.
Even as Christians, the death of someone we love is still so very painful to us. It’s not because we are afraid for them, it’s because of the empty place they have left behind in our hearts.
So, even though the Bible says we don’t grieve like the rest of men who have no hope, we will still grieve. Be comforted in knowing it’s ok.
Friends, we need to normalize grief. We don’t need the added pressure or stigma that we are grieving too much or too long. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there is no time limit on grief.
As the waves along this journey continue to come, it’s my hope that you will reach out and grab hold of this life preserver before you. May you grieve with hope knowing you will see your loved one again one day.
“And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 4:13 MSG