“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (Psalm 27:10)
The Hebrew word translated “forsake” has a range of meaning. It can signify to abandon, desert, or neglect; or more simply to leave or depart. In the case above it doesn’t have to refer to parental abandonment or neglect; it can speak of the departure of a loved one in death.
One way or another, the loss of a loved one is painful. There is perhaps nothing more painful in life. Oh how we remember the times we spent together, enjoying each other’s company! But memories only go so far; it’s just not the same as being together in the presence of those we love.
In such times of grief and mourning, the promise of scripture is that the Lord Himself will be especially near to us, if we will let Him fill the void we feel. We read, “then the Lord will take me up.” The word “take up” here is more commonly translated “gather together.” How comforting it is to know that when we can no longer gather together with our favorite people on earth, the Lord will call us to His banqueting table. And His banner over us is love.
The word “together” is wonderful. Being together with parents, children, spouses – doing life together with those we love – is the sweetest part of life on this earth. But no earthly relationship can last forever. There is only One who will never leave us or forsake us.
In the bittersweet moments when you have been “left behind” with only memories, let God gather you to Himself. Whoever else is gone, rejoice that He and you can be together forever. Let Him be sweeter and more precious to you than ever before.