On December 20, 2012, my second daughter Lenya Avery Lusko went to heaven after battling a severe asthma attack. Hours before, I had been wrapping her Christmas presents. Now, I was leaving the hospital without her.
Wondering about what to put on the tombstone of your 5-year-old should never be something a parent has to go through. We eventually decided on these words: “Jesus has destroyed death. He has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.”
“But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:10
God came to the earth on Christmas so there could be Easter. Hebrews 2:14 says Jesus came “that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
Though it’s true that believers have the hope of heaven when we die, hurting with hope still hurts. This is how the disciples must have felt on Saturday—the day after Christ’s crucifixion but the day before His resurrection. They were living in the space of a promise that has been given but has yet to be fulfilled.
As believers, how are we supposed to live on Saturday? How are we supposed to make it through pain and loss?
We must recognize that heaven is nearer than it seems and walk by faith, not by sight. In the moments where faith is hardest to find, we must trust that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God.” We need to rely on what we’ve heard from God when all we see around us is death.
A motto I have adopted in my life is “run toward the roar.” We need to live knowing God will use our pain for His purpose. Though it may not feel like it in the moment, it is ultimately an honor for God to entrust us with trials. He gives His most difficult assignments to His most trusted soldiers.
With God, nothing is wasted. He puts to use everything He puts us through. You have no idea the microphone that your pain will give you to speak into the lives of others. Our pain becomes a passport that will take us to places and people that we never would’ve otherwise.
Isaiah 40:30-31 says, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
When the weight becomes unbearable, we can always cue the eagle. Whenever and wherever, all we need to do is call on the name of the Lord to receive new strength. He never promised us an easy life, but He did promise us we wouldn’t have to fight alone.