21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Bereavement comes to all at some point in life. There is no avoiding it. Some losses are so profound, they tear our hearts out, and leave us forever marked and changed. The loss of a parent is almost always excruciatingly painful – whatever their age. As C.S. Lewis observed, the grief we feel is the price we pay for all the love we shared earlier.

Joseph was about to lose his dad. But two things remained true for him (and they remain the case for all believers as they walk this deep, dark valley of tears):

• God was with him. Whoever else we may lose, we can’t lose God. Where can we ever flee from His presence?
• God still had a purpose for his life.

Life goes on. Nothing is surer. For a period we may feel that the world has come to an end. But we eventually realise that life goes on, and life is for living. We step into what may remain of our lives with ‘strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.’ God will never fail or forsake his own.