The day my best friend died, the day my father died, the day our son died, the day I was told, “You have Colon Cancer”, the day I was told, “Sorry, the cancer has now metastasised to your liver” – those are some of my heartache days.
Is There More Heartache Ahead?
What’s coming next? The truth is, none of us knows, do we? It’s a mystery that we can’t stop from unfolding. One day, we are peacefully basking in the sun, and the next instant, we’re being bashed and battered on the rocks. Life is like that – nothing is constant or guaranteed. Even as a God-fearing and God-loving man, I have come to accept the fact that heartache and trauma are inevitable. If not today, tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, sometime in the future, often when least expected.
This life forces one to agree with the early philosophers who quoted, “In the midst of life, there is death”. Jesus Himself made it quite clear to us all by saying, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT). Well, there you are; Jesus Himself tells us that it is coming our way, whether we are ready or not.
Even as a God-fearing and God-loving man, I have come to accept the fact that heartache and trauma are inevitable.
But, believe me, even if you live well into your 90’s, and especially if you are happy, well-loved and have loved well, you most likely still won’t be ‘ready’ to leave this life. Because this life is all you have known. Looking at the difficult life of Jesus Christ, especially during His final three years on earth, I see Scripture giving us insight into a secret He had about enduring ‘well’. It was this secret that enabled Him to navigate the unbelievable heartache and rejection He experienced, as well as the excruciating torture He was subjected to, climaxing in His crucifixion at Golgotha.
Jesus’ secret was that He always looked beyond the ‘here and now’ and pictured the ‘there and then’. His secret was that He focussed His mind and all His hopes on the future. His secret was that He saw what God the Father had promised Him, and He put His full confidence in His Father’s powerful love to accomplish it. His secret was that He lived for the day He would arrive in heaven as the resurrected King of Glory. Scripture says, “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne” Hebrews 12:2 (NLT).
His Secret Must Become My Secret
This is why when difficult circumstances, harsh disappointment, sickness, disease and even the death of precious loved ones have driven me onto the rocks as a result of unexpected storms in this life, I must remind myself of the joy awaiting my loved ones and me. Paul reminds us all; “I consider that our present sufferings in this life are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” – Romans 8:18 (NIV)
Oh yes, there are many times when I miss my son so much, tears overwhelm me, and I deeply long to have him walk through the doorway so that I can hug and kiss him again. But I know that it is not going to happen. This is why Paul tells us again; “I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NKJV). Jesus Christ, and the promise He gave us of ‘that day’ and what awaits each of us who love Him and are longing for His coming, is what keeps me sane and filled with energy so that I can live my life out enthusiastically and filled with His joy.
Let’s never forget, in all this heartache and unbelievable disappointment that we are forced to confront, either now or later, that “We are not essentially human beings having a temporary spiritual experience, but rather spirit-beings having a temporary human experience.” We are waiting for that day when we will receive our new immortal bodies with new minds filled with inexplicable joy, where we will live together with the Godhead and all who love Him for all eternity. No more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William, and his wife Pam, have been in ministry for over 40 years and form a part of the leadership at Joshua Generation Church. William is primarily involved in ministering across the greater global field of Four12 partnering churches. You can follow him on Facebook.