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Grief and the Coronavirus

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15

 

On October 14, 2020, Dave DeVries was taken to his heavenly home. He passed away due to complications of the coronavirus: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pneumonia. The virus was the means by which God brought him home, but that is not how I will remember my father.

Death is a thief; it oftentimes comes without warning, and the pain is felt deeply. It separates our physical bonds with those we love, for a time. The old man of sin that lies within tries to tempt our minds to dwell on the what-ifs. What if he never got sick? What if he was brought to the hospital earlier? What if tests were taken sooner? What if I got the virus instead of him? What if the doctors were able to give him that shot? The devil likes to see our minds go in that direction, but the wheel has to be turned back around toward God and the knowledge of his perfect, divine plan. Psalter 383, stanza two, says,

Ere into being I was bro’t, Thy eye did see, and in Thy tho’t

My life in all its perfect plan was ordered ere my days began.

Dwelling on God’s perfect plan will help a child of God grieve with hope. Though our pilgrimage on this earth may seem overwhelming at times, we rest knowing that our hope lies in the one whose everlasting arms never tire.

Grief is not something that is felt and then goes away after a short time. It may soften with time, yet the sting is always there. Jesus also grieved during his time on this earth. When  Lazarus died, though he knew Lazarus would soon be raised from the grave, Jesus wept for him. Having the knowledge that our Savior, Jesus Christ, felt the pain of grief and sorrow ought to bring comfort to those who are grieving. Though one weeps and sorrows over the loss of loved ones, a child of God does not weep without hope. Living in the knowledge that God is holding our whole life in his hands allows peace to flow in our souls, and we find our hiding place under the shadow of his wings, for he is near unto us.

The coronavirus has been around for quite a while now, much longer than some may have anticipated. In a world that is focused on the media, a deep fear can grow in one who dwells on what they say. The news and the media make it very difficult for one to know what is actually going on with the virus. Will I get sick from this virus? Will someone I know get very ill from it? Many questions arise in our minds if we devote a lot of time to what is said about the coronavirus. Children of God may be informed of what is going on in the world, but they must spend more time in his word and think upon his divine plan. As children of God, we must place our trust in him rather than men, and we need not fear, for everything is done according to his sovereign will.

 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

 

Originally published March 2021, Vol 80 No 3