Today, February 11th, is a day that will forever have a shadow cast upon it as it was this day three years ago in which my little girl was temporarily removed from us and carried by the angels to her heavenly home. The pain that we felt in that moment is something that will never be able to be fully described. The scars that we bear are ones that will never be able to be fully visible to the naked eye. It is a pain like no other pain. It is the deepest level of suffering that I have ever known. But God has been so faithful through it all to reveal Himself to us, comfort our broken hearts, pour out His love, and give us a greater assurance than ever of the hope we have in Him.
The Bible, in speaking about this specific hope (the resurrection of the saints from the dead), tells us in 2 Thes. 4:13 “But we do not want you to be uninformed brothers, about those who are asleep (dead), that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” I shared this same verse when I spoke at my daughter’s memorial home going service. I also handed out to everyone a tiny square of black cloth, reminding us that, yes, grief is still real, there is indeed a dark shadow that has cast itself upon our lives, but still we have a greater hope because of Christ rising from the grave. So, yes, I still have that small black square cloth that covers a part of my heart, and it is as real as can be, but the light of the hope of the Gospel far outshines any shadows that may linger still. As Paul stated in Thessalonians, we don’t grieve like those who have no hope. What does that mean? Yes, we still grieve. There is still the sting of death and separation that we currently feel, but our hope is in God and we know that He has overcome the power of the grave, that death has been defeated…that Christ has risen from the dead, giving us who hope in Him the assurance that we too shall rise.
And so, that day three years ago upon my daughter’s bed, with my natural eyes I saw life leave my little girl once and for all, but the reality, though I was not privy to see it, is that my little girl immediately crossed from death to life. She was immediately ushered into the presence of the living God, gathered around with all the saints of old that have passed on before us. She immediately became one of the great cloud of witnesses that Hebrews 12 mentions who are now eagerly looking down upon us and waiting for us all to finish our race so that the fulness of God’s redemptive plan can be put into effect. Though I did not personally witness these things with the naked eye, I trust fully in God’s Word which reveals His power, His goodness, and His love, and so I know that my little girl is only experiencing life to the fullest in this very moment. There is not the slightest black cloth that shrouds her heart. She is fully free and able to see God in all of His glory.
But for me, yes there is still a pain that remains…and shall remain until that great and glorious day when I too shall finish my race and be ushered by the angels into the presence of my God and King. So, though I have a lingering shadow over this day, more importantly I have a great reminder of the light that has come, which has expelled darkness, which has opened the way for eternal life, which has defeated the power of the grave, which has purchased me for eternity by His precious blood, and which has given me the blessed hope that I shall one day be with Him and all the saints of God for eternity. What a great hope we have in Jesus!
And so, I am reminded again from God’s precious Word in Rom. 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” And again in 2 Cor. 4:17 “For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” O blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. O what a foretaste of glory divine…This is my story…This is my song. Here’s to remembering my precious Susana and the blessed hope we have in Christ.