Read His Words Before Ours!
Loss hits each of us in varying degrees.
Financial, emotional, relational, and of course, physical.
The ache of physical loss is so deep, we naturally long for something more.
Something to wrap us up, assuring us that everything will be okay, that death wasn’t the end.
We ache for hope.
When I lost my son, the brokenness was like waves, rising and falling, each crashing mercilessly on my unspeakable hurt. I found myself repeating,
“This is the new normal. I will always carry this loss. There is no “going back” to before now.”
How to breath.
How to keep living.
Loss intensified my need for hope.
I am not alone, am I, sister?
You’ve been there, too.
Different stories, but the same need.
We each share it, this desperation for hope.
Someone I love was walking through loss, and one afternoon, she pointed to a butterfly and whispered through tears, “There she is”.
She wasn’t referring to the butterfly, but rather the loved one she’d lost.
She longed for hope.
Maybe you’ve wondered the same thing at some point.
A beautiful, fluttering butterfly. The soul of the one we love?
The coin on the street. Sent from Heaven with love from those gone before us?
The feather whispering through the air. A sign sent to us from above?
This life with all of its obvious brokenness and ugly,
creates an ache for something
to staunch the flow of throbbing agony.
Butterflies are an amazing design.
Feathers hold stunning intricacies.
Money holds value.
But these created things were never meant to be an end,
they were intended to point us to the Creator.
As I began my research for writing, pulling up website after website of what it meant to
“find a feather” or “see a butterfly” after loss,
the most blaring discovery wasn’t found in what was said, but rather what wasn’t.
Every website was full of emotional statements worded as facts, but none of them gave reasons for why they believed what they did.
Folklore, tradition, emotional feelings, these were the basis for their beliefs.
The questions hounded me as I read more stories,
“Wouldn’t you want to know? For sure?
Wouldn’t whatever truth you uncovered be better than a feel-good falsehood?”
Lies, no matter how wonderful they feel,
hold nothing more than a vanishing morning mist.
Life can’t be built on mist.
I’ve had questions about life and faith countless times.
What if life after death is a fantasy?
What if Christianity was just created to make us feel better?
I wanted the truth.
What we believe matters,
but what the truth is matters even more,
because it doesn’t change,
whether we believe it or not.
Through a lengthy process of investigation, I came to a place where I could solidly stand on the claims of the Bible.
The deeper I studied, the more I came to know the Bible was real,
not because I wanted it to be,
not because I was raised that way,
or because it made me feel good,
but because it was true.
The Bible doesn’t sugar-coat our pain.
In fact, our pain has an explanation.
And so does our longing for hope.
Loss happens because we live in a world broken by sin and death.
It was a choice Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden when they chose to trust their own desires over God’s design. The sickness of Sin travels to each and every one of us from the babe whose heart stopped beating before he even took a breath, to the eyes of those who have seen 100 years pass before them.
Sin affects us all; always bringing death, brokenness, pain, and heartache.
So, yes, we all hunger for hope.
Because we are all irreversibly broken.
What does the Bible say about Death and Souls?
It says that souls are eternal and life after death is real.
The Bible says that when we die, we will either spend our eternity
delighting in relationship with God,
dancing out the life we were always intended to live in real, physical bodies,
with significant purpose and meaning,
we will forever be bound in Hell.
Hell, where real people live in real, physical, broken bodies experiencing eternal separation from the Creator. It’s a physical place of forever heartache, suffering, and pain.
Heaven and Hell.
Both are eternal.
Both are real.
Our destination is our choosing.
Rather than returning as a soul embodying a butterfly,
God designed our souls to be made perfect,
to indwell perfect bodies, free from sickness and pain.
He designed us for a full life!
For those left alive on earth, He brings us comfort.
Not from butterflies, feathers, or random coins,
but from the sure and certain, solid truth of His word.
Comfort much more satisfying than glossy butterfly wings.
The next time you stand amazed at a monarch, look past the creation, and see the Creator. Know He loves you.
Know He has a plan for life after death.
Know that in Him is found Hope.
Hope for those who admit their sin-filled hearts and accept the free gift of Righteous Life held out through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as He took the punishment for our sin on Himself.
Know that this Hope is solid and sure,
able to stand up under the heartache and joy of our everyday life
because Jesus Christ is our Hope!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!