As some of you might know, The Whisper of God community has grown substantially over the past ten days due to a new FaceBook page that I launched. As part of the page, many members of our community have been sending in prayer requests. One struck me this morning that said:
“I ask for prayers for my families esp my daughters and I; we just lost our husband, son, brother, and dad. he took ill on his way to iraq. thank you”
I wrote the following in response to this prayer request:
Many members of our community have been, through their prayer requests, sharing with us their loss of loved ones. A few of our members have lost loved ones while serving in the military.
One prayer request in particular has come in from Becky. She has asked for us to pray for her, her daughters, and their family as her husband was lost on the way to Iraq.
My stepbrother, Christopher, has served in many dangerous situations around the world and most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. With God by his side, he has come home safely from everywhere he has been sent. In fact, even though I haven’t spoken to him in a while, I know that one of the things that he is happiest about is that he came home from his last deployment with every man that went over with him. He didn’t have one loss.
But why is it that he suffered no losses while others have lost so greatly? Why is it that two people can be standing next to each other and one killed and one survive without a scratch.
I don’t know if anyone can definitively answer these questions; I only know what our faith teaches us about God and His plan for each of us.
Sharon and I recently lost a friend in a very violent incident. I told this story in my article “Grieving for a Friend.” At the time, we were looking for comfort and this is what I wrote:
We will never understand the way God works. The only solace is that this must all be part of God’s plan.
God takes people when it is their time to go.
We are sad when we know we will never see our friends again. Even though it is difficult to do, we should be happy for these people since they will be now spending the rest of their time with God.
But how do we get over our sadness?
Matthew 5:4 tells us: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew is telling us that it is we, the people that live and mourn, that need to be and will be comforted. Why is it that we should be comforted just by Matthew’s words? Our faith in God and the fact that this is his plan is the main reason. But this is based on faith. Is there anything other than just having faith in Matthew’s words that provides comfort?
Our true comfort comes from Luke who recounts Jesus’ words to the man who was being crucified next to him.
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 42-43
This is the true source of our comfort: knowing that upon our death we will be with God in paradise.
Becky, I don’t know if, at the moment, you can gain any consolation from this or not but I can only assume that God needed your husband and your daughter’s father to do His work in heaven now.
The pain of your loss and his absence will linger for a while, but his spirit will live on forever not only in your memories but also in the traits that he instilled in your daughters. I am sure that when you look into the faces of your daughters, you many times see their father. Take comfort in and celebrate the fact that a part of him will live on forever through them.
To everyone who has experienced such a traumatic and tremendous loss: while we grieve here on earth for our loss, our loved ones are with God doing His work and looking after us from there. Some day we will be able to not weep for our loss and sadness but we will be able to rejoice in a life lived and the time we were blessed to be able to spend together.
May God’s love be with you and comfort you in your times of sorrow and may God’s love and guidance help you, over time, find happiness in the knowledge that your loved ones are not gone from us, they have only left our physical world and now reside with us in our heart, spirit, and memories through which they will be with us forever.