I am thinking today of two friends who have lost a loved one--one, the grandmother of her children and another an expected child, full of hope and possibility. I have found great comfort in the writings of Elisabeth Elliot, and last night I read these words which I found comforting. I urge you to read my friend Sherry's account of the funeral of her mother-in-law. It's beautiful, painful and full of hope all at the same time. God's people have hope!
The place where we must meet Him today is the cross where the Lord of the Universe dealt finally with death. It is no vague and silly optimism we speak of, no false mysticism, but a bowing in humble repentance and faith at the foot of that cross. We must be crucified with Christ. That is the beginning of the new life--the deathknell and the birthpeal ringing at the same time.
The resurrection happened. We believe it. We bank all our hopes on it. Jesus is alive. And yet...and yet we sorrow. There is no incongruity between the human tears and the pure joy of the presence of Christ--He wept human tears too. Nor is there sin in grieving, provided we do not give way to it and begin to pity ourselves. It is still appointed unto man once to die, and those who are left must grieve, yet not as those without hope. Resurrection is a fact. There would be no Easter and no basis for Christian faith without it. Hence there is no situation so hopeless, no horizon so black, that God cannot there "find His glory."
Crown Him the Son of God
Before the worlds began,
And ye who tread where He hath trod,
Crown Him the Son of man;
who every grief hath known
that wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for His own,
that all in Him may rest.
From Elisabeth Elliot's A Path Through Suffering, pp. 128-129.