Jesus said to them "Take off the grave clothes and let him go". (John 11:44)Those are the words Jesus spoke after he raised Lazarus from the dead. But this week he spoke those words to me..."Take off the grave clothes and let her go."
"What do you mean Lord? You took her from me. She's dead. How can I let her go?"
"Yes, I took her. Now I want you to take off the grave clothes and let her go."
How can I let her go when everything in me wants her back? My grief is all I have. It fills the empty space she left. I can't imagine NOT mourning her death. I can't imagine a life without sadness. It's a part of me.
But, Luke 20:38 says,
He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, FOR TO HIM ALL ARE ALIVE.Anna is dead to me, but alive to Christ. Today I kept repeating that phrase over and over again..."To Him all are alive...To Him all are alive...To Him all are alive."
She is alive to Him. I have to stop thinking of her as dead and remember that she is alive.
Jesus also said,
If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father. (John 14:28)Jesus knew that where he was going was better than where he was. Can I stop feeling sorry for myself? Can I surrender my identity of grieving mother? Can I exchange my sadness for gladness?
Do I love Anna enough to be glad that she is with the Father?
Do I love her enough to let her go?