“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14

I wonder if he knew.

I wonder if Paul knew when he penned those words that countless people would cling to them in their times of deepest grief.

I wonder if he knew that I would read them at my aunt’s funeral, gone too fast, and too soon. Or that we would hang tight to them when the son wouldn’t drive home again. Or that she would cry herself to sleep with them when the baby wasn’t there anymore. I wonder if he knew we would recite them and weep when the matriarch was taken, tragically, yet still sing, “You are good.”

I wonder if he knew.

I wonder if he tossed and turned in his tent, wrestling those words onto the page, imagining his own loss, his own grief, his own brokenness, but knowing the wrestling matched with the good news of the Gospel would touch scores of people for millennia to come.

I wonder if he knew.

 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I wonder if He knew.

I wonder if Jesus knew when he said those words that we would depend on them when this broken earth rears its ugly head and shatters our hearts. I wonder if He said it with firmness in His voice to make the disciples understand. Or He grabbed Peter by his shoulders and shook him, looked him in the eyes, as if to plead with him: “Please believe me!”

 

I wonder if He knew.

 

I wonder if He knew the number of people who would lay down their lives for these words, who would throw seed into fields for these words, who would walk against the worldly grain for these words. I wonder if He knew we would recite these words over and over when hurricanes barrel at low lying cities and earthquakes ring in the night. I wonder if He knew we would long for their truth when wildfires ravage cities and car accidents break apart families.

I wonder if He knew.

I wonder if He knew as He walked up the hill, battered and bruised, that we would cling to these promises and beg Him for them to be true. That we would hunker down with tear soaked faces and plead with the sky that Paul didn’t write without warrant and that He didn’t die in vain. I wonder if He knew that we would long for Heaven and long for Him and long to just simply be in His presence when the world goes awry.

 

I bet He did.

 

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24