Q: My wife died last year, and I’m so lonely I sometimes wish Jesus would just take me to heaven right now. We were each other’s best friend, and I guess we never went out of our way to make other close friends. I’m not sure why I’m writing, but thank you for listening. — P.J.
A: Thank you for your email; may God comfort you and assure you of his constant presence with you. The death of a loved one inevitably leaves a hole in our hearts, but God knows what we’re going through, and he does not abandon us. Let the Psalmist’s prayer become yours: “May your unfailing love be my comfort” (Psalm 119:76).
Grief over the death of a loved one, I’ve discovered, is somewhat like major surgery: it’s painful, and we don’t get over it quickly or easily. Yes, in time the scars will heal, but they never go away completely. But let me suggest three things that may help you.
First, be thankful. God gave you many years together; every day take time to thank him for those years. In other words, don’t just let your memories be tinged with sadness, but also with thankfulness. The Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
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In addition, thank God that your wife is now safely in God’s presence forever. Never again will she experience the pains and sorrows and limitations of this life, and someday you’ll join her. The Bible reminds us that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Finally, ask God to help you look beyond yourself and become a friend and encourager to someone who needs your help. You need them, and they need you. May God bless you.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.