But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
Yesterday, through the wonder of modern technology, I virtually attended a memorial service for one of the most grace-filled women I have ever been blessed to know. Her husband led worship, her daughters read letters and spoke about the gifts their mother had instilled in them, and God was glorified.
I shed some tears and prayed they would be comforted. I remembered the five young women–two, mothers now–as children. I thought of Sue herself as a young mother and marvelled at the stories of all the lives she touched over the years–mine one of them. My mind wandered back so many years when she, through her words and her quiet actions, along with her entire family, ministered to me in my darkest days. I was filled with humble gratitude for having known her.
Even when I don’t understand–God is still good and wise and the source of my hope and comfort, in no small measure thanks to Sue and her family. I know I will see her again in heaven soon and very soon.