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Some Bright Golden Morning

Oh no!” Stephanie's friend gasped in horror as she started running toward the tall branching tree in the yard. Frightened, Stephanie hurried after her, a vague foreboding clutching her heart. The two neighbors had been visiting in the yard that pleasant October afternoon as their little girls played happily together. But now, reaching the tree, a surrealistic scene unfolded before Stephanie's gaze. The worst nightmare of any mother s heart. Under the tree lay the crumpled form of her sweet Sarah.

The evening became a swirling collage of ambulances, sirens, prayers, fear, the operating room, hope, doctors, nurses, supportive friends-and the pale, fragile form. Finally, tragically, came words that the ears heard but the mind could not accept. "I'm so sorry. but she's gone. We did everything we could."

Stephanie and Henry, the stricken parents, staggered under the load of grief. Death seemed easier than living with the raw pain of their loss. How does one go on in the wake of such agony? What meaningful thoughts can give the hope and courage needed to face an empty bedroom or a small pink bicycle in the yard, along with a host of other reminders that seem to mock expectations and dreams once cherished? Stephanie's heart-wrenching words, “Who will take my pain away?” echoes the cry from stricken hearts around the globe down through the centuries.

Yet, as the family grappled with their overwhelming loss, even through the tears a refrain of hope could be heard. That hope was more than the comfort of knowing that their joyous, energetic little girl was not suffering or living her life severely crippled. It was more than the comfort of treasured memories from her eight precious years with them-memories of a sweet disposition of cheerfulness, helpfulness and obedience. It was the hope that someday they would enjoy Sarah's happy laugh and see her dark eyes shine once more. It was a hope based on sacred writings penned nearly 2000 years ago promising that death is not the end. It was a hope that the claims of Scripture are true-that some bright golden morning Jesus will return with angels and trumpets of glory to triumphantly awaken the dead, reuniting families and loved ones.

It was a hope that even little Sarah had cherished. At her memorial service, school friends and teachers told how she loved to talk about heaven. Afterwards, Henry and Stephanie had the cheering surprise of discovering, scattered among her treasures, little notes that formed a bouquet of precious testimonies that expressed her love for Jesus. her longing to have her sins forgiven, and her desire to be ready for His return. Even a childish drawing of Jesus welcoming His children to heaven with outstretched, nail-scarred hands turned up unexpectedly in a storage box.

With renewed interest and longing, Henry and Stephanie turned again to the Bible to reread those words that filled them with the hope of seeing their sweet Sarah again. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, as others which have no hope. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thes. 4:13, 16-18.

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Created: 11/15/02 Updated: 05/28/04