This last week has been a very interesting one in regards to life and death. I have watched a young mother pass on to glory leaving behind a newly single father and 2 young children (4 and 1). This one particularly hit home as we tried to explain to our 4 yr. old what happened to her friends mother. Additionally, that same husband lost his father not 24 hrs before. Though we as a church family grieve for and with him I will not even try to act as if i understand what pain he is experiencing. It seemed as if everywhere I looked there was death
- My best friend’s Grandmother
- Margaret Thatcher
- Pastor Rick and Kay Warren’s son committed suicide
- and many more…
This week in funerals and Memorial services all over the world pastors and friends will say:
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” – 1 Corinthians 15:55 (Hosea 13:14)
Like me we may be a bit confused by this reference but I think that there are a few few answers:
- Death’s [temporary] victory and [momentary] sting is evident in this moment, but, eternity is a reality. Everyone is going to die and spend eternity somewhere and there is amazing peace when you know that someone you loved has been made new and is in the presence of Christ. and the victory and sting of death are gone.
- Everyone grieves differently and grief is a very natural and perfectly acceptable thing for us as humans to feel. However, as there is a season for everything we cannot allow the death of someone we love to rob me of the life that we have left. We will always feel a deep sense of loss in regards to our loved one but grief is not a place for me to stay but rather a season I must go through Also, know and understand there IS joy on the other side. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
- If Romans 8:26 – 30 is true even when I don’t feel it then we must rest in our Father’s will. I have said before and I will say it again, “maturity in a believer is marked by our choice to trust what God’s Word says rather than the way we feel.” Doing this is not always the easiest thing but the FACTS of God’s Word are way [much] more reliable than my feelings. This has been a struggle for me when I have lost loved ones but at the end of the day I know God is still God and God is still good.
- Relationships with other people should never be taken for granted. We should never assume that people know how we feel about them and if there is someone in you love in your life you should do all that you can do to make that relationship right. You may need to stop reading right now and call someone who just came to your mind. Your life is too short to live with bitterness and regret.
- Community: Family (immediate and extended), friends, a local church. This world will crush someone who tries to face it alone and one of the Bible’s core values is simple, we cannot do life alone. This will never become more evident than when you lose someone you love and are desperate.
These are only a few of my thoughts on death and I’m sure throughout the week I might add others but I would love to know what you think/ experience when you come face to face with death.