A time to mourn, a time to dance
Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 "There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven. A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance."
In the past week, I and many of us lost a friend. Her death is a stark reminder of the brokenness of this world- brokenness that we are all touched by, broken by, grieved by. To be born into this world is to be broken by it. And it is appropriate to mourn. I mourn a life cut short. I mourn for those left behind: a daughter, a mother, a brother, friends, co-workers. I mourn that those of us who are left behind wrestle with the questions: did I do enough, should I have done something different, did I show her my love or did I leave something unsaid? These questions torture us and burden our souls.
Near the end of Deuteronomy, when Moses is nearing his death and reminding the Israelites of God's covenant with its blessings and curses, there is a verse that says, "The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law." (Deuteronomy 29:29) These questions are questions we will never have answers for, but God in His mercy has given us hope as He revealed Himself to us in Jesus.
In John 11:25-26, Jesus says after the death of His friend, Lazarus, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die- ever." As I mourn my friend, I must turn my heart away from the questions to the truth of the Gospel. I do not mourn without hope (Read I Thes. 4:13-18 for more on this)! I have the hope of Christ in the knowledge that my friend knew and loved Jesus. Yes, she (like all of us) was broken by the world, but when she put her trust in Jesus, she was given a new sentence for her life, one of life not death.
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Phil 3:20-21 My friend became a citizen of heaven when she put her trust in Jesus. And this past week she took up residence there. She is no longer broken by the world, no longer captive by the chains of this world. She is healed, she is free. And now is her time to dance.