God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. . . The Lord himself will come . . . and the dead in Christ will rise first . . . Therefore, encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:14,16,18
The Coming King
“They’re going to miss it.” That’s maybe what you thought as you sat by the grave of a loved one. “They’re going to miss their daughter’s wedding. They’re going to miss their first grandchild. They’re going to miss traveling in retirement.” They’re going to miss ‘it,’ whatever ‘it’ is.
And there’s a sadness that comes with this, at least for the survivor. Many of you know what it’s like to experience a wedding, a birth, or some other occasion without sharing the joy of that event with certain loved ones. But there is one event our loved ones who have died in the Lord will not miss. Not only will they not miss Jesus’ return, “the dead in Christ will rise first.” There’s a certain amount of joy that comes with this, isn’t there? As a spectator, I love watching my child get a blue ribbon at the track meet or the spelling bee. I rejoice in seeing my spouse receive an award at her place of employment. We love seeing our favorite players win a championship or our preferred candidates win an election. We find joy when our loved ones win.
While you may miss your loved ones at an upcoming wedding, be assured, they’ll be the first ones to the wedding banquet of heaven. You may miss a Christian friend at an upcoming reunion but be assured they’ll be the first ones in the air, waiting to be reunited with you. Be encouraged by these words. Be encouraged that your King is coming, and he’s bringing those who have fallen asleep with him.
Dear Jesus, may the joy of my loved one’s victory overshadow the sadness of me missing them here. Amen.