The ninety-five year old woman at the nursing home received a visit from one of her fellow church members.
"How are you feeling?" the visitor asked.
"Oh," said the lady, "I'm just worried sick!"
"What are you worried about, dear?" her friend asked. "You look like you're in good health. They are taking care of you, aren't they?"
"Yes, they are taking very good care of me."
"Well, what are you worried about?" her friend asked again.
The lady leaned back in her rocking chair and slowly explained her major worry. "Every close friend I ever had has already died and gone on to heaven. I'm afraid they're all wondering where I went!"
The fear this woman experienced was just the opposite of the Thessalonian Christians' fear. She was afraid those who had died were worrying about her. The Thessalonians were worrying about their Christian friends who had died. Specifically, they were worried that they would miss out on the opportunity to be with Jesus at his triumphant return in glory.
There was one important truth they had overlooked — the assurance that the resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us.
"But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus." (I Thessalonians 4:13-14)