He (Jehoram) reigned in Jerusalem eight years and, to no one’s sorrow, departed (2 Chronicles 21:20).

The sadness of this statement in 2 Chronicles jumped out at me this morning and wouldn’t let go. As I get older, I find myself saying goodbye to more and more family members, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. It’s simply the way of things, though it wasn’t originally intended to be. But sin has a way of changing things, doesn’t it?

It certainly did with Jehoram. This king was the son and grandson of godly men, both of whom ruled from the “city of David .” Sadly, unlike his father and grandfather, Jehoram chose not to be a godly man, and he ruled accordingly, eventually dying a painful death at a relatively young age. Most tragic of all was that no one mourned his passing.

All of us mourn when a loved one leaves this world—yes, even those of us who are strong believers and lose someone who is also a strong believer. We know that person has gone to be with the Lord and is so much happier than he/she ever was on this earth. And yet…our heart hurts. We miss them, though we know we will see them again one day. Those without that knowing mourn even more, for indeed they don’t have the hope of being reunited with the one who has passed from their sight.

But can there be anything sadder than living in such a way that when you die there is no one left behind who regrets seeing you go? King Jehoram had plenty of money. He inherited a rich kingdom and wanted for nothing in the material realm. He could do or have nearly anything he wished for, and yet…

Quite obviously this rich man was a pauper when it came to relationships. Not only did he not serve God or have relationship with Him, but he also had no meaningful or close relationships with other people. What a perspective-setter this is! Are we in close relationship with God and other people? When we pass from this earth into the presence of the Father, will there be at least one person left behind who will miss us and long for the day we will be reunited in heaven?

Then, beloved, unlike Jehoram, we are rich indeed. Whatever we face on this earth in the way of pain or sickness, tragedy or loss, poverty or disaster, our lives can still be considered a success because we have cultivated that which really matters. May the sad life of Jehoram speak to your heart today about the things that truly matter, and may his pitiful epitaph inspire you to cherish your relationships at every step of your earthly journey. For all too soon it will be over, and it will be time to move on. Though we as Christians eagerly anticipate that time, wouldn’t it also be nice to know that we will be missed and that someone will be looking forward to the day when we will be united once again?

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