It was the second year remembrance of a friend’s dad 2 days ago. He died at the age of 52 (July 27 1960 – July 17 2012) and you’ll probably want to describe his demise as not so pleasant due to the circumstance surrounding it.
When I asked Ojapa ‘joe_deep’ Jonathan (my friend) about how he feels every time he remembers his dad. What gives him hope and keeps him strong despite the fact that it’s a loss, see his reply here;
“I remember few days before his passing away. My dad called me and started teasing me of how he’ll get to see heaven and meet with the Lord before me. He challenged me to do my part, live my life in a way that I’ll be sure of heaven having lived his that way.
Every time I remember him, I remember the smile he gave me just when he was about taking his last breath. Don’t get me wrong, I miss him, I miss him a lot, but there is nothing to mourn knowing where he is now; knowing he knew God and walked with Him with all his heart and soul gives me this peace.”
Funny enough, he said that the family studied 1 Thess 4:13-14 (the very text that inspired today’s post) the night before his death.
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.
(1 Thess 4:13-14)
It created a tension in their house that night though. But what better encouragement can we get as a reason not to mourn the death of a loved one, regardless of their age or circumstance around the death as long as the singular clause of “falling asleep in Christ” is met.
Death being the greatest loss is still the most glorious thing that can happen to a believer in Christ, “…and the day you die is better than the day you’re born” (Ecc 7:1) says the wisest man that ever lived. It is also the only means (apart from rapture) of meeting with our Lord and lover. Why do you think Paul, a man of the deep revelation made this thought-provoking statement, “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Phil 1:22-23)
Paul declared that departing to be with Christ is far better than life here. To the person and to Christ is better, even considering this text in Revelations, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away”. What here on earth measures up to that? Nothing, not even a life of affluence and surplus.
To everyone that has lost a loved one in Christ, quit mourning. The cliché “they are in a better place” is actually the truth, believe me, no matter how much they loved you, they can never wish to come back.
And most importantly, as you can see that the only comfort is in “sleeping in Christ”, dying as a Christian. So, let us never relent in getting all our loved ones saved. That is the only reason why you wouldn’t need to mourn their departure but otherwise, cry and wail because their death is indeed a loss.
Read Episode One HERE
Thank you for reading. More episodes on this topic will come soon. But remember that you can share your thought and story on it as well. Just send your write up and a little bio to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a song from Joe_Deep, written for daddy
THINKING OF YOU
I can hear the words you spoke to me,
I can see that lovely smile,
I really miss you dad
and I wish you didn’t have to go.
Thinking of you,
There’s a peace that floods my heart,
Just knowing you’re resting now,
You are my hero dad,
And I will celebrate you
Yes I will celebrate you.
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