‘Do Not Sorrow Just as the Rest Do’
HAVE you ever noticed the way a flower seems bowed down after weathering a storm? In a way it is a touching sight. After all, the cloudburst likely sent countless animals and people—far hardier creations than any flower—scurrying for shelter. Yet, the flower stood there, rooted, facing the weather’s full fury. Now, here it is intact, bowed but unbroken, showing a strength that belies its delicate appearance. You may wonder, as you admire it, if it will regain its vigor and lift its lovely head to the sky once more.
It is much the same with people. In these troubled times, we face all manner of storms. Economic hardships, depression, failing health, the loss of a loved one in death—such tempests assail all of us at one time or another, and sometimes we can no more avoid them than the flower can uproot itself and run for cover. It is moving to see individuals who appear quite frail show surprising strength and endure such onslaughts. How do they do it? Often the key is faith. Jesus Christ’s half brother James wrote: “You know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure.”—James 1:3, Today’s English Version.
Another key is hope. When death strikes a loved one, for example, hope can make a world of difference to the survivors. The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Thessalonica: “We do not want you to be ignorant concerning those who are sleeping in death; that you may not sorrow just as the rest also do who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13) While Christians certainly do grieve because of death, there is a difference. They have accurate knowledge about the condition of the dead and about the hope of the resurrection.—John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15.
This knowledge gives them hope. And that hope, in turn, gradually softens their grief. It helps them to endure, and more. In time, like the flower after the storm, they may lift their heads up from grief and find joy and fulfillment in life once again.