Last Thursday would have been my mom’s 81st birthday. She died 14 years ago this coming Sunday. They say that time heals all wounds. I’m not so sure about that.
I would say that the pain and moments of thinking of her come much less frequently today than they did a decade ago. But there continues to be a sadness that I cannot call her or that I will not see her on my birthday or at Christmas.
There is one thing, and only one thing, that gives me hope (not in the sense of maybe, but in confidence) in this situation. My hope is in the resurrection.
Later this month we will celebrate Resurrection Day, more commonly called Easter. On that Sunday we remember and celebrate that Jesus walked out of the grave, having died for our sins just days earlier, very much alive.
And this was not a spirit body. No, as Paul emphasizes throughout 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus truly came back to life.
The truth is that the Christian faith stands or falls on the resurrection. If Jesus is not alive, then all we do is a farce. There is no reason behind it, and we should quit and move on to better things. But if he is alive, that makes all the difference in the world.
In 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul told his readers they should not grieve as if they had no hope. Rather his message to them was that the resurrection was true and that all believers would participate in the final resurrection, and that makes all the difference in the world.
The final line of that chapter reads, “Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” We can be encouraged by the truth of the resurrection of Jesus.
While it will not be in this lifetime, I have hope that I will one day see my mother again. That is not a pipedream. It is based on the promises of God, and the reality of the resurrection.
I do not know what you are facing today, but I can promise you this: There is nothing you face that is more difficult than the resurrection. Put your trust in the resurrected Christ. He is able. And that is enough.