LAST week, I introduced my friend, Gracious Chifamuna. She is a dear friend who tragically lost her husband at a young age. Mindful, due to COVID-19, many are losing loved ones, I have invited her to do a series on what God has taught her as her loss has left her a single mother of four in a very hard economic time. Her words are below:
Last week, I mentioned that death is not final, death is not the end! Death is transition to our real home, a place where we belong. However, as our loved ones transition to eternity, it brings immense pain in our hearts. We mourn, we ache, and experience all kinds of emotions. At the same time Jesus knew that death would bring so much trouble, agony, and deep pain in our hearts hence he made provisions for mourning. Today let us look at how Jesus responded to facing death and how He prepared His disciples. I will then share a few lessons.
In John Chapter 12, we see Jesus talking to his disciples about His oncoming death. For Jesus, it was not just death, it was shameful and painful. As Jesus prepares his disciples, we read that his soul was troubled. No doubt, reality of death brings immense sorrow in a person’s heart. However, there is nothing wrong in admitting pain. Admitting and acknowledging pain does not mean that one has lost faith in God or that one is weak.
If Jesus admitted his pain and was vulnerable to His own disciples, what more of us? How we express our pain might differ, no need to exaggerate or suppress. Jesus knows and sees our hearts!
Jesus did not just admit his pain, He then quickly turned back to His Father and said, “Father Glorify your name.” That is the challenge we also have as believers, to acknowledge our pain and quickly turn back to God and say, “God be glorified in my pain!”
Though Jesus was troubled in His heart by the reality of the cross, He knew for sure that God had put all things under His power (John 13:3.) It was God’s idea. It was not the devil! He was returning to God, sadly He had to die first. Heaven was home. Heaven is our home.
Let us take a quick look at how Jesus prepared His disciples. In John 14, twice, he said, “do not let your hearts be troubled”.
The second time Jesus added, “do not be afraid.” Jesus knew for sure that his home-going was going to cause fear and pain in his own disciples’ hearts, so he cared enough to share some comforting words. Jesus is still saying those words to us.
He went on and said, “… and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me…” John 14 vs 3.
Recently, the kids and I were praying for a family that had lost their dad. My seven-year-old then prayed: “God I hope uncle “D” is enjoying the room you have prepared for him.” I literally marvelled. Jesus wants us to do the same! When we lose our loved ones who knew Jesus, we should remind ourselves that Jesus simply came to take them to their room which He has already prepared for them.
In John 16, we hear Jesus talk about the truth that you and I do not want to hear; “you will mourn, you will weep… you will grieve” However, that is not the end! Grief will turn into joy. How can grief turn into joy? (food for thought) Mourning is for a season, it is not a lifetime! Allow yourself to mourn.
Jesus then promised a precious gift-the Holy Spirit. I know there is much to say about this precious gift but not for today. Hebrews 13:5 – “never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Yes, Jesus was going back to His Father, Our Father but He was not going to leave them all by themselves. It is the same with us. He is always present, though sometimes it feels he is not.
In our loss, in our pain, in our own grief journey Jesus is saying:
- Do not fear.
- Do not let your hearts be troubled.
- I will come back and take you as well and you will be with me.
- Yes, you will weep, yes you will grieve, but it will soon turn into joy.
- Never will I leave you nor forsake you.
- There is special gift for you — the Holy Spirit, He is your comfort, your teacher, your counsellor— He is all you need.
Join me next week as I share my thoughts and lessons I learnt from Job’s life.
The fact that it is painful, the fact that it hurts, the fact that it is not adding up, it does not necessarily mean that it is from the devil.
Believers do not just mourn.
Believers mourn with hope!
Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, team building facilitator and author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – www.ashleythaba.com.You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books, Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas