This past month Handi*Vangelism Ministries International had settlement on a property on which they plan to build facilities for their various ministries. As Director of BASIS, one of those ministries, I was excited to be part of the dedication of the property a few days ago. Looking out over the property, I tried to visualize the new facilities that were shown on the plot plan. I expect one day to see those facilities being used to carry out even more of God’s ministry of compassion through dedicated believers whom He has called and gifted to be His hands and feet and heart to hurting people.
Surely God has performed a miracle in making it possible for H*VMI to purchase the property, completely paid for from donations. Plans are that we could break ground for new buildings next Fall. Among other programs, these new facilities will enable BASIS to expand its ministry to bereaved parents. The new facilities most certainly will not eradicate their grief, but it will enable us to more effectively walk alongside parents who grieve the loss of their children.
As Director of BASIS and a bereaved parent myself, I have experienced God’s blessing and comfort firsthand through His Holy Spirit and through His holy servants. I’m so thankful for that. I have also marveled again and again at how God works in the biggest hurts of our own lives to enable us to become instruments of compassion to other similarly hurting parents. And, I’ve found that doing that for others also ministers to us. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” II Corinthians 1:3-4
The death of our daughter, Crystal, over twelve years ago, still hurts. If I could have prevented it, I certainly would have. Our daughter did not die so God could use me to minister to other grieving parents; but since our daughter got leukemia and died, God has not allowed her death to have the last word, not now and certainly not in the future. Ministering to others who hurt is one of those ways I can at least muffle the agonizing cry of death.
As we look to God to allow our own pain to be His instrument of comfort to others, we have a powerful message to share:
God created a paradise, but sin entered it; and as a result, death also entered our world. But even from the beginning, God had a plan of redemption through His Son, Jesus. So, the Apostle Paul could write, “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:55-58
Yes, it’s true that sin brought death and it comes to us all; some sooner in life than others. Sometimes God heals and protects us from tragedy and He alone knows why He allows some tragedies and intervenes in others. I don’t pretend to know “why?” But I do believe “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him...” Romans 8:28
So, even if God preforms healing it is only temporary. As far as I know, Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead, is not still living here today. None of us are going to get through life alive unless we are living when Jesus returns. Knowing this, Jesus promised His followers, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
In addition to this good news, the last book of the Bible declares, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” Revelation 21:3-4
I am comforted in my own grief when I share this profound message of hope with others who grieve. I pray that this will be your experience as well.
We don’t have to walk the grief journey alone.