1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NIV)
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
1999 December 28, 1999 my went to sleep and woke in heaven for his eternal retirement. Pain surrounded me during those dark days. I ached inside and missed him terribly.
There was a great sense of loss, thinking my sons would never see Bumper again. Maybe you can relate and have experienced grief too? If so, you may be encouraged by this truth: for those who love and know the Lord, parting is only temporary. It’s not really goodbye, but see-you-later.
The apostle Paul assured the Thessalonians of this truth. “The dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” 1 Thessalonians 4:16b-17.
That assurance is for us too. There are three words in Paul’s statement that provide hope, comfort, and assurance for the brokenhearted: we, together, and them.
We (people on earth) who are still alive will be caught up together (two parties meeting) with them (those who are in heaven).
These words of reunion indicate that God’s children never have to experience permanent separation. That’s good news! One day you and I will be reunited with our loved ones who believed in Jesus while on Earth. What a glorious day that will be.
We don’t have to let grief burden our hearts. We have hope in God’s promise that one day we will be reunited with our loved ones. Holding on to that hope takes death’s sting away and fills our heart with anticipation.
Even in grief there is hope. For those who accept the Lord as their Savior, death is not goodbye. It’s simply see-you-later.
Dear Lord, thank You that death is not the end. Thank You for that glorious reunion one day when we will see our loved ones that went before us. And for the day we will see You face to face. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.