I’ve distracted myself in every way I can think of.
I’ve watched hours of Netflix. I’ve read books about murder mysteries and a book on staying awake to love (by my fellow (in)courage sister, Anjuli, and I highly recommend it). I’ve eaten bags of chocolate mini eggs and worked out so hard in my living room I can barely walk the next morning. (Hopefully, the workouts cancel the chocolate.) I even signed up for a dating app. I thought finding love in the middle of a pandemic might help unfurl some of the loneliness coiled deep within me.
It turns out talking to boys on a dating app just makes me long more for Jesus. Distractions do nothing to truly satisfy what I need most.
I’ve wanted to forget that the entire world feels like it’s shutting down around me, like the people outside my windows and door aren’t suffering and splintering apart at a distance.
The loneliness and sorrow and pain and fear are practically tangible. I can almost feel them in the breeze as I open my backdoor to let air into my apartment.
I go on daily video calls with my church family to offer encouragement, reassurance, and truth. We remind each other daily that we will get through this. We pray and we read Scripture, knowing in the depths of our spirit that God is good and that He will bring good from this.
But the pain persists. Living in the midst of a pandemic is painful.
And when I feel pain, I want to distract myself. I want to numb out. I want to escape. I don’t want to sit in this new reality, alone in my apartment. I am afraid of giving in to my loneliness, afraid of a tsunami of grief, afraid of thinking about how long this might all last.
Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep. I stayed up crying, tears dripping hasty and forceful onto my pillow. I cried for all of the people who are going to lose someone to this virus. I cried for all of the funerals that will take place — maybe months down the road, after we’re finally allowed to come back together. I cried and I cried.
But even as I mourned and grieved — the loss we are feeling, and the losses yet to come — I held onto one solid truth, grasping it firmly with both of my hands: Death is not the end.
Tears leaked from my eyes, but I said aloud to Jesus, “Death is not the end. You conquered death. It’s not the end.”
In a world that has screeched to a stop, a world riddled with fear and anxiety over death, I am holding firm to this truth. This truth does not remove all of our pain. Even this morning, I was reading in John when Jesus went and brought back Lazarus from the dead. But before He resurrected him, He wept. He, too, felt the pain over death. And He, more than anyone, knew it was not the end.
I hold onto this truth in defiance against this virus and against the sin that mars our world. Death is not the end. We have more than this life on earth. There will be a day where all of this pain and sadness will come to a halt, full stop. We will live in eternity, and the time we’ve spent here will feel like seconds.
This is the Good News — the news I forget almost daily. But let this wash over you, even as you feel the pain and sadness bearing weight on our world right now: Death is not the end.
Can you breathe in and feel that?
Jesus defeated death. He has conquered it.
He will wipe every tear from your eye, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things will be gone forever.
Breathe in the good news today: Death is not the end. We have more than this life on earth. -@alizalatta: Click To Tweet