Dealing with Death
It is a grim subject, death is. In many ways, we really do not like talking about it. Osama Bin Laden said that the difference between his group and Americans is that we love life while they love death. We love life because this is what God has granted us. He has given us a desire to live. This is why we fight for life when we are termed “terminally ill.” This is why we are willing to go to the heights and the depths of medical expertise so we can try to live just as long as we can. But death comes. Death hastens to its next victim.
There was a story I heard many years ago about “death.” It went something like this: Death arrived at a small farm where he was seeking a young man. With fear and trembling, when the young man saw Death coming toward him, he went to his master and requested his fastest horse so that he might flee from Death by crossing over the river. When the master told Death that he had given him his horse so that he might flee across the river, Death’s response was, “Good, I have an appointment with the young man this evening across the river.” Death waits for no one.
When we face the death of a loved one, it comes way too quickly. We want their lives to be lived with dignity, not with the decay of death. We desire to take their pain away, but it is not our pain to bear. We seek to comfort as best as we possibly can, but, for the most part, comfort only escapes the moment. Death steals,destroys, and kills.
Now before you think that this is merely a dreary, disheartening and dismal post, please keep reading. While death is ever seeking one to snatch into its clutches, there is One who seeking to rescue to give life. No, he is not American. I could only wish that all Americans saw life as this One does. He seeks to give life to whoever would believe Him to do so. It is really that simple: just believing Him. There is nothing that can stop physical death. When it is our time to die, we will die. When it is the time of our loved ones to die, they will die. Nothing stops death or the grief with which we suffer afterwards. But life continues to go on. Life continues to be lived. Life is a decision. As Tim Robbins said to Morgan Freeman in the movie The Shawshank Redemption, “You gotta get busy living or get busy dying!” I choose life!
Now I can choose life all day long, but that does not stop death. I can choose to roll out of bed every morning, wake up my boys and ready them for their day. My wife will wake up and be readying herself for her day as well. I ready myself for the day. But one of these days, there will not be a time to wake. That day will eventually come. However, that is not all there is to life. There is much more to life! There is a time after we live this life that is eternal. But we need to make the choice today what life we will have in the hereafter.
Jesus Christ said in John 10:10:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
Jesus’ concern is with life. He came so that we might have life. Now some critics would challenge Him with this because death still seems to reign in the mortal shells of our lives. We are always trying to forego death, but it is still there. Jesus Christ, however, was speaking of eternal life. Yes, physically we will die. Yes, physically our loved ones have died. Jesus came to give us eternal life and that life does not begin at the point of our physical death. Rather, it begins at the point of our belief in Him to give us life.
Nevertheless, there is a day of reckoning for all. Hebrews 9:27 says:
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment…
That just sounds horrible if that is all there is to this life, but that is not all there is to this life. Read on in Hebrews 9:28:
…so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but Jesus is coming again for those who eagerly await Him. He not only gives life while here on this earth, but then He comes and takes us to be with Him forever by giving us eternal life. Pipe dream? No–reality. When He died and bore your sins and my sins on a cold, cruel cross, He made payment for the wages of sin that is due and in turn gives us eternal life as a free gift! Jesus Christ is concerned with life and giving it away so that we might live!
Let death come. There is nothing that is stopping life…nothing stopping Life.