And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites, “I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” (Genesis 23:2-4 ESV)
Sarah was 127 years old when she passed on. Abraham was with her for a vast majority of those years. He must have grieved deeply. But, he was a traveler in a foreign land and he knew he had to keep moving. It was the way of life God has established for him. After All, God had called him out of his home of UR as a young man. Abraham had been wandering with God ever since.
So how does that relate to us? If you have lost a loved one, you know there are two burials. The first is the physical one soon after they die. The second is when you, like Abraham, know it is time to move on. That doesn’t mean their memory dies, it just means you get up and once again begin to travel down the road of your life without them –and discover you can do that, with God’s help.
Remember in the Gospels when Jesus called the young man to follow Him? That man asked for Jesus to wait while he buried his parents. Jesus said “Let the dead bury the dead.” (Luke 9:60, Mt 8:22). Sounds so harsh, until you lose someone and realize, yes, in order to go onward with Jesus in your life, that is what you must do. Knowing He gives eternal life makes that an easier step.
But, in order to follow Jesus and sojourn in this foreign land called our earthly life there are others things we need to bury out of our sight. Old hurts, negative feelings, unhealthy habits, worldly ways of thinking and acting all must hit the dirt. God understands it is a process. I think in His love, He moves us away, as He did Abraham, so we can heal and turn to Him for comfort and growth. That way, we are less likely to turn around, run back and dig up the past.
What do you need to bury so you can go forward? Jesus is there with the shovel and the Kleenex. Let Him help you. The One who conquered death knows how to once again bring life to your heart.