“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
It was the Sunday evening service at New Home Baptist church, and I stood up to preach. I had recently done a few funerals, and my eyes had seen an increase in suffering and death. I opened to this text, Revelation 21:4, and opened with this statement: “Nothing can fully prepare you for the pastorate. Nothing can fully prepare you for the sickness, suffering, and death that you see. But this text holds me up when I’m weak, reminding me of the future, ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ By the end of the next day my child had passed, and her footprint was imprinted directly on that text in a small Bible. That Sunday night I knew what I was saying, but that Monday evening, I really knew.
Anyone who has lost a loved one searches for answers, and those of us who believe in Christ search the Word. This text provides a glorious glimpse into the future, a wonderful insight into what is to come. It doesn’t say there won’t be tears, it says eventually he will wipe them away. This week leading up to the celebration of the resurrection, for those who have lost someone, should be a week of tremendous rejoicing! Christ has risen, we will rise, and the world that we will rise into will be a world of perfection. A world not affected by sin, by death, by tears, by pain. A world where the curse of sin and death is reversed, and there is nothing but rejoicing.
This week should be the antagonist to the end of year holiday pain. At Thanksgiving, and at Christmas, we shed tears because they aren’t here, but at Easter we smile because Christ has risen, and they will rise. Praise God for his resurrection! When the Christmas pain hits you, remind yourself, Easter is coming. This is a week where those who have suffered greatly shine by the power of the indwelling Spirit. This should be a week where the widows are cheerful, the grieving mothers are filled with joy. Why? Because we will see them! Why? Because the tears aren’t in vain! Why? Because this pain that we feel will be replaced with eternal joy. Why? Because Christ has risen!
This time each year we should reflect on those that we’ve lost, not avoid the pain, because the pain is a reminder that one day it will all be made right. At this time each year going forward I want to reflect in my own life on the very short life of my Wrenley. I want to venture down the hallways of my mind to that memory. Because in doing so, I may weep, and every tear that is shed is a reminder that one day he will wipe them all away.