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Hope of reuniting with loved ones

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By Reggie Ponder
Columnist

Thursday, April 19, 2018

None of us likes thinking about death, but it’s one of the basic realities of life and it has been on my mind lately as I have watched a number of friends deal with the death of family members.

A couple we were very close to years ago lost their daughter over the weekend and we suddenly are faced both with the unfortunate fact that we lost touch over the years — not hard to do when you move seven times in 17 years, but still lamentable — and with the need to try to reconnect now, despite the awkwardness.

Others we know have also lost children in recent weeks. While death regularly brings sadness and grief, I can’t imagine anything worse than losing a child.

When I consider all of this I am especially grateful for three things. The first is family. We could avoid much of our grief if it weren’t for the power of family — but then what would be the point?

As awful as grief is, the only thing worse would be a loveless existence in which we never became close enough to anyone to miss them when they were gone.

The second thing I am thankful for as I think about this topic is friendship. We need friends to help us get through grief and other difficult times we go through.

Real friends are far too easy to take for granted and I admit I’m probably as guilty of anyone. Everything else in life can crowd out the time we should be carving out to spend with friends.

One of the gifts friends give us, of course, is forgiveness, and I appreciate the forgiveness and understand I believe most of my friends show toward me when I’m not as constant as I should be.

What I am most thankful for, though, is the hope of being reunited with friends and family members who have gone on before. One of the ways that faith strengthens me is by offering this hope of confidence that death need not be the end.

I believe that by faith in Christ  I will be able to live forever in the presence of God after this earthly life is done.

When I consider those who live without that hope I am at a loss as to how they get through the difficulties of life and love.

I realize there are people who seem to be getting along OK without any professed faith in God, but I wonder how they deal with all of it when they are alone on their darkest nights.

I wouldn’t want to live without hope and I’m enormously thankful that I don’t have to.

Reggie Ponder is a staff writer for The Daily Advance.

 

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