BIBLE READING: 11 Samuel 16-18
“O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place.”
— 2 Samuel 18:33
Family members grieved deeply when 32-year-old Cindy died, but they also experienced great comfort. They knew that Cindy had a strong personal faith in Jesus. They also were confident that she left this world knowing she was greatly loved. And when she died, they had no regrets because they had enjoyed a good relationship with her.
King David’s grief was not lessened by any such comforting thoughts. He knew his son Absalom had died as a rebel. David, I am sure, had regrets about the kind of example he had set in his life (his multiple marriages, his sin with Bathsheba, and unresolved family disputes).
We cannot prevent the death of family members, but we can do much to lessen our grief when it happens. Right now we can commit ourselves to put God’s glory and the good of our loved ones above our own selfish desires. We can talk to them about our faith in Christ. We can express our love for them. And we can make sure that we have done everything possible to resolve conflicts. This may call for humble confession—and that may not be easy—but a restored relationship will lessen the grief when a loved one dies. What can you do to prepare for good grief? The death of people whom we love brings sorrow and deep pain; but if our loved ones know the Lord, our loss becomes their gain.
-Selected from Herbert Vander Lugt