If you have lost a loved one to death, you know that it is a painful experience. Jesus understood the pain of losing someone close to His heart. In the book of John (11:1-44), we learn that Jesus lost a loved one named Lazarus. Jesus was deeply moved and wept at the loss of His friend. This story, however, doesn’t end in tears. Jesus knew He possessed the power needed to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25). Jesus overcame death through His resurrection. It is comforting to know that death is not the end for those who believe. Those who know Jesus as Savior will have eternal life (John 10:28). God has prepared a new home for us where there will be no more death, tears, or pain (Revelation 21:1-4).
Even if we are assured that our loved one is in a better place, we still experience the pain of their absence on earth. It is okay to grieve the loss of your loved one. Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus, even knowing He would bring Lazarus back to life. God is not afraid of our emotions or our questions. We can pour out our burdens on Him and trust in His love to provide us reassurance and comfort (1 Peter 5:7). We can remember the many good things about our lost loved ones and rejoice in the fact that we were able to share in their lives. We can share stories about the impact our lost loved ones have had on our lives. We might find it comforting to do some of the things our lost loved ones particularly enjoyed or to spend time reminiscing about our lost loved ones with other close relatives and friends. We can also honor their memory by living our lives in a way that brings honor and glory to God.
It is important to remember that God is ultimately the source of our comfort (2 Corinthians 7:6). While it is good to remember our lost loved ones and to honor their influence in our lives, the Bible is clear that we are not to pray to lost loved ones or worship them in any way. Instead, we bring our prayers to God and ask Him for comfort and healing. The Bible tells us that God is the father of mercies and that He will comfort us in all our tribulations (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Be assured that God loves you and that He understands how much you are hurting. Run to the shelter of the Most High where you will find sweet rest (Psalm 91:1-2).