When a Service Member Is Lost: Thinking of Families Left Behind

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by A Fellow Military Spouse

soldier

What do you say?

What do you do?

How in the world can you ease the sharpest pain? Or heal the deepest, gaping hole?

There are no words for them. There’s no way for me to ease their pain. I would join a meal train if I were near them, but even then, food seems so meaningless in the darkness of loss. The best place for me to be in these moments is on my knees. To lift them up to the One who knows their agony, who weeps with them, and yet is sovereign over it all.

The Bible says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26 ESV).

And, oh, how my spirit groans. For the women who bear a weight I hope to never bear. For the children. For the moms and dads and brothers and sisters. For the families.

It feels helpless to pray in a way, but then I remember who I’m praying to.

I keep praying, even though I don’t understand. They are not forgotten. Their service member is a hero, forever remembered. Their sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.

I’m just so deeply sorry for the loss they have endured for our nation. So very sorry.

Will you pray with me?

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV).

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV). Click To Tweet

“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them’ ” (Revelation 14:13 NIV).

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’ ” (Revelation 21:3-5 NIV).

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV).

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV). Click To Tweet

“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:27-28).

“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. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NIV).

“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 NIV).

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39 NIV).

“But as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’ ” (1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV).

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