Many years ago, the Apostle Paul wrote in his 1st letter to the Corinthians:
“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Trouble is: we live in between the victory over death, and the loss of the sting. Two funerals in my family this week. One for a dear aunt loved by everyone she ever met who was taken from us suddenly, without warning. The other, for a dear grandmother who had left us long ago in reality, though her body lingered on for years.
They are in a better place. That’s not some platitude to make myself feel better. Both new the Lord Jesus Christ, and put their trust and hope in Him. He’s the One that defeated death by dying on the cross to pay for our sin. And though the price has been paid, we live in-between death’s defeat at Calvary, and the abolishment of the sting and pain of losing those we love. Yeah, death is swallowed up in victory, but the victory parade isn’t here yet.
Right now, it hurts.
Right now, both sides of my family are feeling the sting of death. The sting of separation. The dichotomy that comes from knowing that our loved ones are whole, new, and far happier than we, yet also realizing that we won’t see them again on this mortal coil. It’s a painful, yet hopeful place, the in-between.
So we wait. And we hurt.
And we hope.