When a son dies
Faith - Family

Joy Beyond Grief

Many years ago, I received a small blue book in the mail. On the cover page is a little note. In memory of Steven. A Lamaze instructor, a colleague of mine, sent the book after my son passed away.

The title of the book is Heaven, and it was written by Joseph Bayly.  Bayly also suffered the loss of a son. The book, illustrated by Tim Botts, describes the joy and blessing of heaven.

Thirty-four years ago, I read this book eagerly, and the words reached through my grief and gave me comfort. Bayly based his description on the Bible, confident that we will see family members in heaven if they had placed their faith in Jesus.

I had read from John’s gospel with Steven in the last week of his life on earth. Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? John 14:1-2

Bayly described his vision of the place Jesus is preparing. But he admitted his limitations.

From the book: How could a twin born into earth world describe what he saw, just in the delivery room even, to his twin not yet born? And beyond the delivery room would be the Rocky Mountains, the sky on a starry night .  . .

I thought of this little book while studying Revelation. John is describing his vision of the future, the events that will take place before Jesus returns. 

Bayly continued his thought: Maybe that’s why Isaiah’s vision and Daniel’s descriptions of the great beasts always seemed so strange to me, and a lot of things in Revelation.

As I study Revelation now, I am able to see the outline of events. It does relate to the time we are living in. The exact timing of events and the symbolism leaves many questions, but I am more alert to God’s plan. 

Every time I read Bible, I receive new insights. How about you?

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Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.

4 Comments on “Joy Beyond Grief

    1. The book was first published in 1977 and then republished with Tim Botts’ calligraphy in 1987, David C. Cook Publishing Co.

  1. To find the joy beyond the grief,
    to find the hope beyond the sorrow,
    you have to stand firm in belief
    that in God’s heart a new tomorrow
    lies beyond the vale of tears
    through which we travel day on day
    down the cold and lonely years,
    but this is where we need not stay,
    for His word gives calm assurance
    of that paradise prepared
    for those with will and endurance
    who through public travails have dared
    at risk of ridicule and shame
    to stand up for His holy Name.

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