“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” ~ I Thessalonians 4:13-14

Yesterday I found myself driving home from a way-too-early meeting, bawling all the way because I was listening to the radio.

No, there wasn’t a sad song on or anything, I was actually listening to a parent’s story on the station I usually listen to.  The station hosts an annual fundraiser for a local children’s hospital, and they frequently feature the stories of families that have been helped by this hospital.

The one I was listening to yesterday was of a family who choose to go ahead with a pregnancy that had major complications, and faced great uncertainty on whether or not the baby would actually survive.  After being born, this tiny human being faced multiple surgeries (I think it was six in his first few weeks of life), before a miracle happened and he survived.

But what made me cry was the moment that the mother shared when she reached the point where she told her baby that she understood if he was tired, and had to go.  When you are watching a loved one fight a life-threatening illness, there comes a point when you have to say those words.  I had to say them to my husband, and there is nothing in this world that is harder to say to someone.  I knew exactly what this mother was feeling, in that moment, as she helplessly said good-bye.

The grief that telling someone good-bye brings is intensely painful, to say the least.  However, in telling my husband good-bye, I had the knowledge in the back of my mind that it wasn’t good-bye forever, only for now.  It was and is still horribly difficult, but with God I know I will be okay.  However, I don’t know how people say good-bye to their friends and family, without the reassuring knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

If you have loved ones that don’t know Christ, ask Him for the opportunity to share your faith with them.  Telling someone about Jesus may be hard, but it won’t be nearly as difficult as telling them good-bye for all eternity.