Chris Schellenberg wrote “Hold Her Now” for Maria Sue Chapman. Listen below.
Many wonder where is the hope in this tragic loss? When experiencing loss… unexpected loss we need to realize that death is not the end. The truth of the song above is that those who know Jesus will experience eternal life. Steven Curtis Chapman, his wife and their children will see Maria Sue again.
My wife, Cheryl, lost her uncle unexpectedly in a car accident recently. Tragic. We mourn his loss and grieve his loss and are also saddened by the loss that his wife feels. He knew Jesus. We will one day see him again.
Several years ago when I was a youth pastor at a church in Indiana, our church experienced the loss of our secretary. This was a sweet lady whom I worked with daily… gone due to an infection in her blood which spread throughout her body.
John 11 brought comfort in that time for me.
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world,” (John 11:17-27, ESV).
Many are living under the slavery of the fear of death, (Hebrews 2:15). It doesn’t have to be that way. Should we mourn? Absolutely! But those who know Christ have a different perspective on death. The Apostle Paul put it this way:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep, (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, ESV).
I can’t imagine the pain the Chapman family must be facing right now, but I do know that the God of all comfort can meet them in their time of need. I do know that since Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life they will one day see Maria Sue again, as Cheryl will see her uncle, and I’ll see my former co-worker, grandmother and any other loved one who loves Jesus who precedes me in death.
Thank you Jesus for conquering death!