Revelation 21:4: “‘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.”

John’s jubilee towards the end of his book of Revelation is famous and source of comfort for the believers. Heaven is a good place. God’s presence, His peace and the absence of human sorrow is something to look forward to.

Does this mean there is no pain left in heaven? What about God’s loss due to our free will? God is no dictator, and we can choose not to love Him. Rejecting Him reaps a world of pain and all parties suffer from it – both God and His estranged creatures; I’m assuming the parental pain He must feel somehow factors in, and I don’t think heaven can be oblivious to that. Don’t we share both His joy and pain, especially as we get closer to Him? I believe we do, and heaven would be one-dimensional if we had it any other way. There is more depth to our joy when we also embrace the undesirable feeling of sadness.

I am writing about this topic today because I have lost someone dear to me. The worst part of grief is thinking to be alone in this. That, quite frankly, is a lie. People can usually relate, but even if (hypothetically speaking) nobody should be able to empathize with us, God certainly can.

Nobody is exempt from grief; and when pain bears the fruit of empathy it will create community. If nothing ever makes sense in our sufferings, this always will: Our pain will equip us to be a good friend to someone facing similar challenges. We are made for one another. God has created community so we get through life in one piece.

We are not alone – our tears will be wiped away. Source of all comfort is God who can relate to all of our sorrow. Here it is, plain and simple written in the skies: Money does not make us rich. Relationships do.

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on”
Bill Withers

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