After my parents had a house fire (to where they pretty much lost everything) last week while they were at home, I had to face the feelings of life one day without them. At the same time, one of our amazing small group leaders (Ron Mize) lost his mom to a hard-fought battle with pneumonia. They say the only thing worse than losing a parent in this life is losing a child. I have been through my share of teenagers losing a parent and I want to do everything possible to help them through that unbelievably difficult time. Ron handled his mother’s death in such a biblical way that I wanted to honor him by detailing how I saw God help him through it all. So if you’re a teen or adult, I pray you can use this article whenever facing such a tragic situation in your life or someone elses’s.
1. Love. It was obvious how much Ron loves his mom and family because he spent so much time with her while she was in the hospital. I’ve heard you spell love T-I-M-E. You can say you love them, but do you give them your time? I’ve also heard it said that the more you love someone the more you’ll miss them when they’re gone. True, but also the more you love them, the more you’ve spent time with them, and the less you’ll have regrets to live with. The way to lose a parent most biblically is to love them, spend time with them, and honor them while they’re here…whether well, sick, or dying.
2. Wisdom. Ron and his family had to make many difficult decisions while his mom was in the hospital. Decisions I don’t even want to think about having to make. But they had to be made, and I know he is a very godly man who makes decisions based on God’s Word and prayer. In James 1:5, God promises He will give His people His wisdom. Making decisions based on God’s Word and wisdom leaves you with no regrets. That is necessary to losing a parent biblically.
3. Prayer. Several times a day prayer updates went out to multiple people to pray for Ron’s mom, him, and his family. To lose a parent biblically, you have to have a group of people supporting and holding you up in prayer. Ron is s man who supports, prays for, serves, and loves others. He has deep, life-long, Christian friendships. To lose a patent biblically, be sure to be involved in the lives of others and they will be involved in your most difficult times of life as well.
4. Hope. Ron confidently rests on the fact that His mom is now at the feet of Jesus. She gave her life to Him through the gospel for her salvation. To lose a parent biblically, ask them the tough questions, talk through the gospel with them, and pray like there is no tomorrow TODAY…to make sure they are truly saved!
5. Emotions. As I mentioned above, the more you love someone the more you will miss them. Ron is a great example of a strong man with deep emotions. He has allowed his weakness during this time to be known. Emotions are a part of God’s image within humanity. Jesus showed emotion in life and death. God expresses emotion. It is healthy to express emotion as it comes and not bottle it up. Emotion will be released sometime, either now appropriately or later more harshly. To lose a parent biblically, learn to show and release emotion appropriately as it comes.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV)