This week I heard a sad story about a family whose 14-year-old boy is dying. He’s been hospitalized in a facility that’s 10 hours’ drive from his home. Sadly, the cost of his medical bills has surpassed insurance coverage and necessitated his father staying at home to work. As the end of the teen’s life draws near, his dad has raced across two states to be with him.
I can’t begin to imagine the pain in that parent’s heart. Thankfully God can, and He’s done something about it.
Isaiah 25:6-8 says, “In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world. It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat. There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears.”
At the expense of sounding morose, the shadow of death is a fact of life. Sooner or later it impacts every single person on the face of this earth. And when it does, we experience a myriad of emotions – denial, grief, anger and the sense of being abandoned by a loved one. Sometimes we feel as though we’ve died inside and can’t imagine surviving without that friend or family member. And yet there’s hope.
True to His word, God has swallowed up death forever. Jesus has conquered death once for all. The enemy has been defeated! The promise of eternal life brings hope in the midst of sorrow to those who place their saving faith in Jesus Christ. God Himself has stooped down to meet us in our pain, and He gently wipes the tears from our cheeks.
As far as I know, the 14-year-old is a Jesus follower. His physical life will soon be over, but he’s about to see the promise of eternal life in heaven fulfilled. No more sickness. No more pain. No more wishing it was finally over. His tears will be forever gone as he dances at the feet of Jesus.
The teen will celebrate, and his family will mourn their loss. My heart aches for them, but this I know – God will wipe away their tears, too. He’ll send comfort in amazing ways through a phone call from a friend, through a song, through a spoken word. He’ll reach down and speak peace in the night when sleep fails. He’ll keep the memory of their son alive in their hearts. And someday He’ll orchestrate a family reunion that surpasses our wildest imagination.
“The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears.” What an amazing promise for those who love Him. How have you seen this prove true in your own life?
BTW, Marilyn Heavilin wrote a book titled Roses in December. She knows what losing a child is like — she’s experienced it three times. Her book is a wonderful resource for parents traveling that road. Check out her website: www.marilynheavilin.com.