I have two scenarios that have to do with family departure.
On Mother’s day my cousin in-law was told that his nephew had died. I know the parents and I remember seeing the children when they were young lads. I don’t know where the young man who is deceased is, however I hope that he made things right with GOD before he left.
Also it will be imperative that if the family does not know JESUS that instead of spending time speaking about the life of the deceased. This will be a great opportunity to introduce to some and reacquaint to others who JESUS is. One of the things that will help Ministers know where a family is in their relationship to JESUS is to listen to the conversations around them. There will be prime opportunities there to witness and comfort at the same time.
Conversations such as: “GOD took him because he loved him and wanted him home with HIM”.
Well the family loved him too and wanted him with them also. A statement like that may seem comforting, however all it does is push the non-believers further away from GOD.
“GOD needed another angel so HE took our loved one”.
GOD is a Creator. GOD Created angels before HE created man. I’m certain that if GOD need or want more angels all HE has to do is speak and the angel is. GOD will not kill what belongs to you to satisfy HIS needs. Below I will type out some key words; I suggest you read the entire scripture.
Genesis 5:22-24 Lived in close fellowship with GOD; walking in close fellowship with GOD and he disappeared because GOD took him. (No death involved)
Hebrews 11:5 Taken up to heaven without dying and disappeared. (Vanished)
If you can see a body or skeleton or any type of human remains that person died and GOD did not take that person.
2 Kings 2:1; 3; 5; 9-11 The LORD takes Elijah up to heaven and carried by a whirlwind into heaven.
From this do you see that GOD does not kill to satisfy HIMSELF? GOD is the GOD of life not death.
While in church on Mother’s day The LORD prepared my heart to receive a phone call during the week to let me know that one of the staff Ministers had gone home to be in the presence of The LORD. I believed that it would not have happened on Mother’s day yet knew that I would get that call between Monday and Friday. I got the call on Monday. The Evangelist that went to be in the presence of The LORD was married to an Elder of the church who also is on staff. He has a relationship with The LORD yet that does not stop his grief for now. He knows that he can go to The LORD for comfort, yet that does not stop his mourning for now.
So how does one provide comfort to a non-believer and a believer? To the non-believer you show kindness and mercy. You extend yourself and if you have not been where they are do not offer false comfort such as “I know your pain” or “I know what you are going through”. Be loving in all you do and realize that not saying anything speaks volumes. To the believer again show acts of kindness and mercy. Extend yourself lovingly; mourn with them; laugh with them. Do not offer false comforts if you don’t have firsthand knowledge of this type of grief keep your thoughts to yourself.
If the opportunity arises quote:
Psalm 23:4 yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for YOU are with me; YOUR rod and YOUR staff comfort me.
This scripture will provide comfort when it seems as though there is no comfort to be found.