We are in a period of mourning in the Robinson household. My aunt Marilyn Sistrunk recently went home to be with the Lord. The past few days have been filled with laughter from the wonderful memories of her life, tears and sadness at her lost, yet rejoicing that she is now in Heaven and one day we will see her again.
Our family has experienced significant losses over the past 14 years. Some of my very close relatives, both young and old, have departed this life to enter the next. Many of them have gone on to Heaven, yet others we are not so sure. One thing I can say about death is, it is an enemy to us all, but it is an enemy that has been defeated by Christ (1 Corin. 15:55-57)! While time does heal old wounds, the process for grieving never gets easier. I’m actually learning to grow through it better by experiencing all the emotions it has to offer—some good, some not so good.
This time around, I’m constantly reminded of how much I am going to miss my aunt, yet I am continuously reminded of the goodness of the Lord. My aunt has been physically sick for many years. My four year old daughter has been consistently praying for her. When we informed my daughter of Aunt Marilyn’s passing, she asked, “Is she still a little bit sick?” I rejoice that we were able to respond in confidence, “No baby, she is healed completely. Never will she be ill again.”
I rejoice that she is no longer suffering. I thank God for the promise Christians have in the New Jerusalem where:
“The dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He [Jesus] who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true (Rev 21:3-5 NIV).”
This is the same scripture I held on to at the loss of my dear mother. It is the scripture that reminds me that we must either experience death and go to our Savior or wait here as strangers on earth until He returns to us. Either way, this blessed hope is what the believer has to look forward to on the other side.
I thank God that his words are trustworthy and true. I thank God that my aunt is no longer suffering. I thank God that somewhere between Sunday night and Monday morning, my aunt experienced a new “today” with Jesus in paradise (Luke 23:43). I thank God that I do not grieve as those who do not have hope (1 Thess 4:13-14), for absence from her earthly body, is to be in the very presence of God (2 Cor. 5:8). And I thank God that we will one day be reconnected again and soon…
I write these words down because they are trustworthy and true, and this truth gives me hope.
© Natasha S. Robinson 2012
3 thoughts on “When Grief Is God’s Answer to Prayer”
Natasha, I sorrow with you and I rejoice with you! When Rick passed in 2000, my sister-in-law sang a Crystal Lewis song, “My Redeemer Lives”. There is a lyric in that song that is so powerful, “though my flesh be destroyed, yet with my eyes I will see God!” Right after that she spoke these words, “Today, we are sad for ourselves, but we can REJOICE because we know Rick is seeing God!”
I have seen in my own life as well as the work I do now how grief in it’s various stages shapes a person; Just like a potter forming clay. Those Christ followers that grieve have The Comforter, The Holy Spirit! I am praising God that you are using your grief for God’s glory & the encouragement for the body of Christ. Much love I have for you….
I am sorry to hear about the passing of your Aunt Marilyn. As you so eloquently shared, it is never easy to experience the loss of a loved one. But, luckily, we can find solace in the perfect order of Spirit, and the knowledge that our loved ones are truly in a place where their suffering is over. Be well, Natasha – sending prayers and positive energy your way.
Wishing I could give you a hug in person. I’m so proud of the way you embrace your journey and allow yourself to feel the loss. These losses remind us of God’s original plan and the Grand Restoration that is in store. Even so, come Lord Jesus!