Finding Hope in the Midst of Pain, Death and Loss

September 14, 2018


Where can we find hope when we are faced with loss?

One of the great challenges of starting a business is coming up with a catchy name. But some people go too far with this. Here are some real examples.

• There’s Jitter’s Coffee Shop. Jitters? Maybe their slogan should be, “Got the shakes? Come on in and get some more.”
• Sometimes it’s not a good idea to use your name in a business endeavor. One example is the ill-chosen, “Stubb’s Prosthetics.”
• Three gentlemen with unfortunate names formed a divorce lawyer’s firm: “Ditcher, Quick, and Hyde.” That’s terrible.
• You’ll also want to use caution with the word “gas.” A sign on a service station says, “Sherryl’s. Eat Here and Get Gas.”
• The worst one I’ve seen is “Sam and Ella’s Chicken Palace.” I wonder if they get visits from the food inspectors twice a week.
• “Frying Nemo Fish and Chips.”
• A pet grooming shop: “Indiana Bones, Temple of Groom.”
• The Chinese restaurant: “Wok and Roll.”
• And the worst cemetery name of all: “Little Hope Cemetery.” Who wants to be buried where there’s little hope?

Not long ago, our friend Faye passed away. Hundreds travelled to her remote community to say goodbye. They mourned, remembered and celebrated – and even laughed. Faye loved her music loud and joyful, so the band turned it up. She loved Jesus, so the preacher cranked up the hope. Amid sadness, there was rejoicing. Amid pain, there was the assurance of healing to come.

Faye’s brother Kurt and I share grandchildren. Our three-year-old grandbaby Sophia held onto him and said, “If I hug you lots will it go away?” Hugging helped, of course. But such pain is too great to bear, so we turn to the only One who can help us bear it.

1 Thessalonians 4 tells us why: “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…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.” Jesus conquered death. And one day we will rise from it too.

Such news pulls the corners of my mouth into a grin that sometimes turns to laughter. I smile when I see a veterinary clinic like, “Dog and Cat Repair.” Or the hot dog place, “Mustard’s Last Stand.” But the purest joy comes from being forgiven and promised eternal life. From remembering that no one who loves Jesus is buried in “Little Hope Cemetery.”

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