Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flows over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Cor. 1:3-5 (NIV)
I know grief. I understand the cut that splits the heart when we love and lose somebody. In the past 16 years, I have lost eleven close relatives. With the exception of two years, I have attended a family funeral every year from 2006 through 2012. In 2006, my family had two significant losses. A few weeks ago was the first in a very long time that I can recall being with my mother’s relatives and not having a cloud of death upon us.
I’ve comforted myself with the truth of God’s word concerning his saints. To be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8), and in his presence there is fullness of joy and at his right hand there are pleasures forever more (Ps. 16:11). Since some of my family members were afflicted in their bodies, I read about the promise that we have in glory. In the New Jerusalem, God will dwell with men, “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 (Rev. 221:3-4).”
In spite of these truths, we still miss our dear loved ones, and the holiday season can be particularly difficult to survive. That’s why I agreed to write for the Hope in the Mourning Bible: Finding Strength Through God’s Eternal Perspective. This Bible just released and I was pleased to receive my copy in the mail this week. This Zondervan publication is a hardcover, NIV, standard print Bible which “contains daily and weekend reflective readings, written by those who have been confronted by the challenges of grief…Each reading is anchored to a relevant passage of Scripture, a key verse and a closing prayer.” The Bible also includes CD, book, and website resources, in addition to free music downloads to comfort those who mourn.
I recommend this Bible to you with my six contributions and the contributions of others who seek to comfort you with the comfort we have received in Christ Jesus. This would be an excellent resource for you or a gift for a dear family member or friend.
Love and blessings, © Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013