Last month, our cat Chloe was diagnosed with feline leukemia. Two days later we had to put her to sleep. She was too weak and debilitated.
Six weeks earlier, Chloe had a routine checkup. At that time the vet said she was in great health. Losing her in three days’ time was stunning. Our family is still processing it.
My daughter felt especially connected to Chloe. The other night she was grieving. We talked for a bit and then prayed. As we prayed, God spoke something that I wanted to share because I think it has a broader application.
Here’s what God put on my heart when my daughter and I were praying: Death leaves an empty place in our lives. Physical death is one aspect of this but other losses also apply.
This made me think of Jesus’s empty tomb. When his disciples came to that empty place, they were asked, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here, but He has been resurrected” (Luke 24:5-6).
Jesus fills the emptiness of death with His life. This is a promise to us in every area, regardless of the type of loss. If we have an empty place in our lives and hearts because of death, Jesus will raise in that place and fill it by His Spirit.
This doesn’t mean a one-to-one replacement. Some losses (like the loss of loved ones) are irreplacable. But scripture does ask, “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55). Because Jesus rose from the dead, we will be free from the victory and sting of death. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But for every death we experience, there is a third day for us, in Him.