There is a verse we hear every year around this time, which is one I struggled with after my daughter, Becca, died. 1 Corinthians 15:55 (NLT) says, O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? I can tell you exactly where death’s sting is after the death of my daughter!
I begged the Holy Spirit to please explain this to me. I know His Word is true, but this verse was not true in my life – not even close! God did not answer that prayer right away, but one day when it was not even on my mind, He began to speak to me about it.
Whenever we are dealing with a bee sting, one of the first things we do is make sure we get the stinger out. My understanding is that sometimes the stinger remains in the skin and continues to release its poison until it is pulled out.
Right now, we still have the stinger in us. The pain from the “poison” of our child’s death is still affecting us and will continue, until we join our child on the other side of eternity. That is where the “sting of death” will be pulled from us, and we will no longer be under the effect of that poison and continue feeling the pain of our child’s death.
As I read the scripture in multiple Bible versions, I discovered what the Holy Spirit had spoken to my heart is exactly what this verse means. The Contemporary English version puts it this way. “Our dead and decaying bodies will be changed into bodies that won’t die and won’t decay. The bodies we have now are weak and can die, but they will be changed into bodies that are eternal and then the Scriptures will come true. Death has lost the battle. ‘Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?’ Death, you’ve lost the battle. You’ve lost the power to hurt us. It’s gone! The stinger has been pulled!”
Did you catch that? This version actually says that the stinger has been pulled! I know it doesn’t help for the sting you are feeling right now, but we can all hang on, because there will come a time when this scripture will become true in our lives.
But what about right now?
Many Christians have been taught that God has a wonderful plan for their lives. We think that means our life is going to be great—full of fun, laughter, sunshine—and nothing bad will ever touch us. But that is man’s interpretation.
Jesus warned that we will have hard times, but promised that He will be with us to help us through them. He said those who mourn will be comforted (not that we will never mourn). He said we will always have the poor with us (He did not end poverty at that time). These are the kinds of things the Holy Spirit will use the most, to draw us closer to Himself and to have the opportunity to know Him more intimately than we ever knew was even possible. And He will bring us to a place of being victorious if we let Him.
God’s love for us is the one stable thing that we can count on in the life we are living here on this earth. Not only does He love you, but He is right smack dab in the middle of your grief with you, and He is excited about you, knowing your future and the good things He still has for you.
He is the foundation we have built our lives on. Most foundations of a building are unable to be seen. That does not mean it is not there. A building might fall, but the foundation remains. Our lives may have fallen apart, but the foundation of Christ is still there. We may not believe it, we may not be able to see it or feel it, but He is still there, firm and steady.
God does have a plan for your life. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. One translation says, “I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.”
Your future is full of hope. It can also be filled with wonder and amazement at the goodness and faithfulness of God, through both the incredible blessings and the painful tragedies because through both, we have the opportunity to see His powerful hand at work in our lives.
He is your anchor, your rock, your firm foundation. He is also a very present help in time of trouble and the giver of hope. Ask Him to open your eyes to see those things in a very real way. And not only can you have hope in your future here on earth, the most truly wonderful part happens when we leave this sinful world and move to eternity with Jesus. And just think, as a side note, we have someone very dear and close to us who has beat us there.
This is a shortened version of the recent Grieving Parents Sharing Hope podcast episode of the same title. If you would like to hear the rest of these thoughts, click here.
To find out more about Laura’s soon-to-be-released book Reflections of Hope: Daily readings for Bereaved Parents click here.
Expressions of Hope is provided by Grieving Parents Sharing Hope (GPS Hope). The founders, Dave and Laura Diehl, travel full time in their Hope Mobile (a 38-foot motor home) to be more easily available for speaking and ministry requests, and bringing intimate weekend retreats to bereaved parents. Laura is also a singer/songwriter and the author of multiple award-winning books.
If you would like more information about bringing Dave and Laura to you for an event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in bringing GPS Hope to your area for a weekend retreat click here.
- Check out the Grieving Parents Sharing Hope weekly podcast
- Subscribe to Laura’s YouTube channel.
- If you are a bereaved parent, we encourage you to connect with us on our private Facebook page or our public Facebook page.
- If you are not a bereaved parent but want to support those who are, or want to follow us as we give hope to these precious parents, please connect with us at Friends of GPS Hope on Facebook.