We are never really prepared to lose someone. It is hard to find anyone, except perhaps a young child, who has not been affected by the curse of death. Whether it is the sudden death of a child, or the expected death of an elderly adult, or anything in between, we are never really prepared for the specific ache each loss brings.
My brother in Christ, Mark, is now in heaven with Jesus. We have this assurance not because of anything he did; not because he was a good person, and not because he did any good thing; but because he put his trust in Christ, repented of his sin and believed that Christ’s blood shed on the cross was sufficient to save him and give him new life (Ephesians 2:4-9).
God loves us and will never leave his children, even through suffering and trials and loss too painful for words. Please read Mark and Anna’s story here. It is the story of our faithful God, and how this family continues to live out the gospel, and trust that God is good, even in the deepest valleys.
Because Mark was saved, we can say that for him to live was Christ, but to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). So though it doesn’t feel like our gain, we know that it is his. We rejoice that Mark is now beholding the glory of the Lord, but we weep at his absence. There is deep pain at the loss of a beloved son, husband, father, friend and brother. Some wounds never fully heal this side of heaven. Some do, but the scar remains. Mark will always be missed.
Mark was a fighter. Yes, he fought the battle of cancer, but more importantly he fought the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:11-12). He fought to the very end, all the way to the feet of Jesus, where I imagine he has already heard, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Mark’s legacy of faith will continue. Not because he was famous or well known, but because he was loved by those who knew him, and always will be, and because he was a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. We will tell his story. He will not be forgotten.
We have this hope! And it is a glorious hope. God will make beauty out of ashes, he will give joy instead of mourning. He will wipe away every tear, and death will be no more. He will make all things new.