lAJliat A l ia l i lAJe Sca^ to the (ßereaued Christian ?
A Personal Testimony to the Reality o f the Resurrection
I N these few lines I am not express ing some fine philosophy I have acquired by observation from the side lines of life. Neither am I quot ing from books I have read on the subject of bereavement. I write from my heart what I have learned in the crucible of personal sorrow and it is my prayer that my experience may help others upon whose pathway the dark shadows o f the valley of death have fallen. Two years and six months ago, on a balmy Sunday morning, when the birds were singing merrily and life seemed very good indeed, my hus band rose early to “ catch up” on his personal Bible reading before we en gaged in our usual family worship and prepared for church. To all ap pearances in good health, he sat down in his favorite armchair, and, with the written Word open upon his lap, without pain or struggle, went in stantly into the presence of the living Word. At forty-six years of age, in the midst of a fruitful, soul-winning ministry, he was called by the Lord of the harvest to rest from his la bors. One moment we were convers ing pleasantly; the next instant he was with Christ, and I was left ut terly desolate. I draw a curtain over my own suf fering at this abrupt severing of earth’s tenderest tie. It is sufficient to state that it was the darkest hour of my life. In one moment the Lord “ took my best away” and my heart “ sank beneath grief’s heavy load.” But more than that, it was the sever est test my faith had ever undergone. Everything I as a Christian had ever believed or taught others with regard to the life beyond was challenged. As I looked into eternity that morn ing, the truth of the resurrection of Christ became something more than a consoling tenet of the Christian faith. It was the only reality to which my broken heart could cling. Since that time, numbers of per sons have asked me, “What helped you most in your bereavement?” Without hesitation I have replied, “ Next to the experience of the Lord’s own personal presence were words spoken and written by Christian friends.” They rallied about me as the very angels of God, encircling me with their love and strengthening my faith. It was from their selfless, com-
out question the Christian teaching regarding th,e heavenly home. But when a loved voice is still, and warm arms no longer respond to the loving embrace, the chill of the tomb itself falls upon the affectionate heart; One is shocked into examining his own heart, to find out whether there is any reality to his profession. The only thing that can help in that black hour is an unwavering confidence that the dear one is with Christ; that be cause He lives, we also live. It cannot be emphasized too strongly to the be reaved that as believers we “ have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfas't, and which entereth into that
Betty Bruechert passionate ministry that I learned what helps most in binding up the wounded spirit of the bereaved. Reiteration of Faith What shall we say to the bereaved believer? Above everything, let us reiterate the absolute certainty of “ those things which are most surely believed among us” in regard to the foundation of our salvation, the res urrection of Christ. The enemy of our souls is quick to take advantage of the blow dealt our faith by insinu ating into the anguished heart his hellish doubts. Many a Christian has never been tested before in this par ticular respect; he has accepted with
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