In the past few weeks these verses stands out as my theme: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” 1Thessalonians 4:13-18
You all know of the loss in my family. My father in law, Bill Crews passed away on March 31. This turned our known world upside down and sent us rushing to be with family in Florida. Life is different without him in our lives. As we gathered together to talk and pray and encourage one another, there was a steady stream of reminds that we walked this difficult road with a family of believers. Texts of courage came to my phone. Messages of lifted prayers on our behalf came. Then the bereavement cards arrived to remind us that while we grieve, we grieve with support. So during this time of loss I grieved with the hope of the resurrection, and with the full knowledge of my church family who came around and supported us. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for those expressions of caring and for the prayers lifted on our behalf. God is carrying us through into this new reality, and I thank you for letting Him use you to remind us of that.