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Our hearts long for life. We yearn for comfort and relief. We cry for rescue.  

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Read 1 John 3:7-8

Experiencing the death of a loved one tops the list of stressors. The pain and hurt of saying goodbye to someone you dearly love touches the depths of every human soul at some point. Death simply doesn’t feel right because we weren’t designed for it. Our lives were created for grand fellowship with the Father God. But unfortunately, harmonious fellowship with God was broken in the garden – initiated by the enemy.

The devil’s been sinning from the beginning, and he’s been out for our death both physically and spiritually ever since. His goal is to kill and for the dead to feel separation from God in the depths of Hell. He starts by tempting Eve in the garden which brought death to all humankind. Then, the devil continues to destroy and kill our relationship with God. Sorrow is the result of both. Eternal death and broken relationship bring deep sorrow.

Death and sorrow go hand-in-hand and Jesus knew this well. John 11 records a story of Jesus losing a good friend, Lazarus. His sisters, Mary and Martha, experienced deep grief and loss. When Jesus came to visit, he felt their pain, was deeply troubled, and wept (John 11:35).

Often the holidays remind us of our sorrows and losses. They remind us we weren’t created for death. We were created for life. Yet, the enemy of our souls wants to keep us in the place of separation and sorrow. He wants to kill our joy and our hope. We long for the release from the curse of sin and death. We’re looking for someone to rescue us from the dark consequences of sin and someone to win back life and harmonious fellowship with God. Our hearts long for life. We yearn for comfort and relief. We cry for rescue.

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we sometimes avoid or suppress our grief rather than expressing it in healthy ways. Today, write down some of your sorrows from this past year and name the people who you’ve lost. Sit with God in your sorrow and pray for the warmth of his comfort. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

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By Donna Burns

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