I didn’t know that it was possible to grieve and rejoice at the same time, but the longer I walk with God, the more paradoxes I experience. I mean, I miss my friend. There’s a hole in my life now that Don is gone, and it’s very real. John beautifully explained that the other day. I miss Don’s face. I miss his wry humor and deadpan stares. He was family in every way that truly matters, and I miss him. The grief is real, and that makes sense. But the joy was puzzling.
So I asked God, “What is this joy?” And each day since Don’s passing, my Father shows me more about the great delight I have over Don. For starters, Don has no more pain. Don was a big man, and his knees often hurt. No more hurt knees! Every wound sustained, every hidden hurt, every agony of rejection has been healed in Don’s heart.
Revelation 21:4 HCSB
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.
I rejoice because I know that Don is now whole and wholly healed in the presence of the King of kings, loving Him and being loved by Him with no barriers. How could I not rejoice?
But I think that the heart of the joy I feel is the complete lack of regret. By that I mean that my love for Don and memories of him have no regret attached. Don’s passing was sudden, unexpected. There was no warning or time to say the things that need to be said. But ultimately, the things that matter are love and forgiveness.
Jesus-in-me loved Jesus-in-Don every day and every time I saw him. There was no festering offense or hurt between us that needed to be dealt with and forgiven. We said “I love you” regularly, and we knew we did.
Don and I have the same Father, and as siblings, our relationship was current and clean. It never occurred to me that one of the rewards of being His child is living so steeped in His great love that regrets have no foothold. What a gift this is!