Our Comfort in Grief
By Meg Bucher
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
“Jesus loves you,” chimed the sweet voice of the faithful nun who came to pray at my Grandma’s side. “Your sins are forgiven… Jesus loves you.”
My glasses fogged at the sound of our Savior’s name. The Bible tells of the power of his name, and in that moment, I felt the full weight of his compassion for us, as we said goodbye to a family matriarch. God’s sovereignty reigned in the room, and I imagined Jesus’ tears falling alongside mine as his beloved endured the pain of this world. How he must long to take it away, as we struggle to understand his greater purpose and perfect plan.
As the nun sang to my grandmother home to Jesus, the miraculous truth of Romans 6:23 echoed in my mind. We are forgiven. Do we cling enough to this truth? The gift we’ve been given in this life is eternal life in Christ Jesus! Through him, we death and grief for everlasting life.
On this side of heaven, grief aches within each of us. It comes in waves and creeps up on us when we are least prepared for it. And through it we crave His presence. It’s built into the core of who we are.
My grandmother lived a life of service to her community. Her work as a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend and servant of God was never complete. She will be remembered for her smile, full life, love for all of us and faith in Jesus. Romans 6:23 reminds us that this is what matters most. Not the work we do or things we accomplish, but the way we do it. With a smile, a laugh, and a heart seeking to love those around us until the day Jesus takes us home.
Shortcomings and mistakes never trump God’s purpose for any life. Jesus went to the cross knowing we would continue to sin. He laid down his life for us anyway. And God uses every sin, stronghold, and struggle to strengthen us. This is what fuels Christian joy. Not striving for perfection, but taking refuge in his perfect Love.
The permanence of God’s timing resonates with us long after the people he has purposefully placed in our lives have joined him in heaven. He continues to mold us with the legacy of faithful lives, lived in honor of him. Perhaps that is why the memories we hold so dear trigger tearful moments. When they come, we can cling to the joy of experiencing such a grand love for one another this side of heaven, and in hope look forward to the day Jesus wipes away every tear … for good.
Meg Bucher writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. An author, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, she earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University. Her first book, “Friends with Everyone,” is available on amazon.com. Meg leads/teaches Bible Study in Women’s and Youth Ministry. Living in Northern Ohio, she’s been wife to Jim for a decade and counting, is mom to two tween daughters, a distance runner, photographer, and avid Cleveland Browns fan.
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