I was lying in bed at a billet’s home in Quesnel, B.C. while on tour with The CREW. It was early morning when I received a phone call saying my 86-year-old Grandma had died. Well, more accurately, her body had died but she had gone to be with Jesus. I packed up and left the guys and took off for Medicine Hat for the funeral. While travelling, a chorus rang in my head based on these words from 1 Thessalonians 4:13.
"13 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. 14 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. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words."
I wrote it down and sang it to myself. I sang it to myself before and after the funeral. I sang it while I thought of my Grandpa sitting in the front pew singing “I Know My That Redeemer Lives” at the top of his lungs while mourning the loss of his wife of 60 years. I sang it on many occasions over the next decade. Yes, the chorus sat somewhat dormant in my head for almost 10 years! I tried to write verses but they went nowhere. I watched people grieve. I watched people grieve with hope.
And then, within minutes, while the guys from The CREW gathered on Vancouver Island for some days of focused writing and rehearsing, the verses came to me. As usual, Dave helped round out the music and bam, my first funeral song was born.
Grieve’s message is simple—Christians grieve, but we grieve with a sure and certain hope that when one we love dies having a living faith in Jesus, we will see them again. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us hope, even amidst our grief.