I receive emails from people every week who are struggling with questions about God and loved ones who are dying. During my experiences with losses I did not want to hear cliches or be told that I should just â€œhave faithâ€ and â€œtrust Godâ€. I KNEW THAT! I wanted to know that God really saw my grief and felt my pain and confusion.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body , there is also a spiritual body…
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed â€“ in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: â€œDeath has been swallowed up in victory.â€
â€œWhere, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?â€
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 50-57 (NIV)
Just as my spirit cannot continue to move closer to God if I choose to live in sin â€“ so my natural body cannot be immortal. I cannot dwell in a spiritual place for eternity while in a natural/mortal body.
OK â€“ so God set up these laws of nature â€“ but even though I accept those laws that doesn’t lessen how I loved that person and want to the here with me!
God gave me permission to grieve. He validated that it was part of my healing. I was blessed that those that I loved, and now miss so much because they have died, knew Jesus as Savior and Lord. I knew by their testimony â€“ both in word and works. What if I’m not sure? If someone I knew and loved died and did not know Jesus as Savior â€“ yes, that would be the greatest tragedy. But, please hear me on this â€“ in my experience as a hospice nurse and in hospitals â€“ we do not know when a person ceases to receive communication and God is certainly not limited by a coma or disease. And God wants all His children to come into the Kingdom with Him.
There will come a day when I will put off this perishable shell called my body and I will be given an eternal body that will be great! I will be reunited with those who have gone before me!
â€œFor the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.â€ Revelation 7:17 (NIV)