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March 22, 2021: God Grieves Too

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4, KJV).

On June 6, 2018, my family and I were given the worst news any parent can be given. My 7-year-old daughter, Liana Kathryn, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. When the head of neurosurgery came to speak to me, I asked him to “give it to me straight.” You ask that, hoping that it will make things easier.

His words will forever be etched into my mind: “I am sorry to tell you this, but your daughter is going to die.” It was as if someone had punched me in the gut or a ton of weight fell on me. Our life in a comfortable cocoon shattered.

Liana battled bravely and honorably against this dreaded disease for six months before succumbing to it November 10, 2018. She was a real trooper.

Liana had a zest for life. A social butterfly, she was a jokester, a prankster and her smile always lit up a room. She was always laughing and giggling. Liana could be hard-nosed at times, but had the sweetest of hearts. And she loved Jesus.

Since that time, I have started a grieving ministry at my church, for Jesus revealed to me in John 11, that He, too, grieves.

God, please comfort and heal the hearts of all those who have lost loved ones. Amen.

Howard Martin is a member of the Fredericksburg church in Virginia.

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