• Cheryl Weber

Feeling Their Pain

“He was my prince,” Diana says about her late husband, Jerry.

He’d loved her with the heart of Jesus, a love she’d never really heard of or experienced before, even though she’d gone to church most of her life. And now he was dead after COVID added to the burden on his already ailing body. Diana knows she will one day be reunited with Jerry in heaven. That knowledge comforts her during her bad days, especially as the first anniversary of his death approaches.

But what if Diana did not have that eternal hope found only in the Savior? What if Jerry had succumbed to the virus without knowledge of salvation? Imagine the hopeless sorrow, the heartache.

Too many people face such a situation even today. Without Jesus, they face the threat of death knowing their safety is not guaranteed. They have so many questions: If they or their loved ones contract the COVID, how much will they suffer and will they survive, especially if they have complicated health issues? What really comes after death? Does anyone really know? There’s got to be more to it than living on in a loved one’s memory.

If that’s not enough, other things that once provided meaning and security are failing them: money, government, civil peace, and now their health and perhaps their lives are on the line. The gaping hole left in their hearts fills with fear and disillusionment because there’s nowhere else to go. Still, they muster their courage, determined that mankind will certainly come up with a solution, yet in their most honest moments, they know it’s a futile quest.

Even as believers, it’s been easy to fall prey to fear, anger, and other negative emotions. Imagine those feelings multiplied, with no promise of anything far greater to live for. Because, without the Savior, this world is the only heaven the lost will ever know.

Jesus came to experience this world as we do, to feel our pain, the injustice of sin, the limitations of being human. He subjected himself to the abuse of those who were his own but refused to recognize him (John 1:11). He took on our sins, died and rose again, to give us abundant, eternal life.

Let’s ask him for insight into the hopelessness and despair of those outside of Christ in the midst of this pandemic and subsequent upheavals. Let’s not judge, but seek the Lord for boldness and wisdom as we reach out to meet both their practical and spiritual needs, telling them that with Jesus as our eternal hope, life even in crisis can be filled with peace, joy, and meaning.

They can then say with us that, “We never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day,” through our real life in Christ who will soon be revealed to the entire world (2 Cor. 4:16, Col. 3:1-4).