Several years ago a young woman in our congregation died of medical problems brought on by undiagnosed Lyme disease. As I was preparing for her funeral, her mother told me that her daughter had written on her mirror in lipstick the words from Psalm 118:14 (NIV): “The LORD is my strength and my song.” This was the living hope of a dying girl. Her hope in God sustained her, and the hope of the resurrection sustained her mother and her father.
The mother later told me that she and her husband had bought a hope chest for their daughter, and they placed within it certain of the special things that belonged to her and then placed it at the end of their bed. This was a different kind of hope chest; it was a reminder that one day they would see their daughter again.
I have come to appreciate how Frederick Buechner captures this when he said, “Resurrection means the worst thing is never the last thing.”
-- Adam Hamilton in Why? - Making Sense of God’s Will