When Death Surrounds Us
January 18, 2016
We are are now three weeks into 2016 and the only word I can use to describe it is HEAVY.
It seemed as if every time I logged onto Facebook, my eyes fell upon the tragic news of someone passing away.
One by one, headlines announced that another beloved artist in the music and entertainment industry had taken their final breaths here on this earth.
Then one by one, memorial service details for friends’ loved ones began to fill my feed.
Then I started receiving texts with more news of…
They were taken too soon.
This seems like a dream.
I can’t believe they are gone.
Heavy thoughts. Heavy words. Heavy hearts.
One of the many precious people who have gone from this life was a part of my own blood family (a distant great uncle of mine), and the other, just today, was my husband’s uncle.
My heart is so, so heavy with those grieving who I know very well and those who I may never meet.
What do we do when death seems to completely surround us?
The best advice that I can give is run to the Word of God.
It is full of promises of eternal hope, light, and life.
I have spent the last couple of days finding comfort in Psalms 121:
God the Help of Those Who Seek Him
When death seems to surround us, what do we do? We lift our eyes upward towards the heavens. Click To Tweet
A Song of Ascents.
121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore. (NKJV)
The Apostle Paul encourages those of us who are believers:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-3 ESV)
We know that no one will be able to escape natural death (unless you are caught up to the heavens when Jesus returns), but once we spiritually die with Christ, we receive the promise of His resurrection life. We become born again!
This is this hope of eternal life that we hold fast to.
Although when our loved ones leave us, we have to remember that this world is not our home.
Our bodies may taste death in this life, but when we trust in Christ and the sacrifice He made for us on the Cross, our spirits will never truly taste death because there is a life to come and a resurrection of those bodies are promised when Jesus returns in glory, as Colossians 3 proclaims.
But I have to ask, is your life hidden in Christ? Do you embrace the gospel truth of John 3:16?
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)
Do you believe on Jesus?
If so, everlasting life awaits you and there is no need to fear death or hell. Death, hell, and the grave has been overcome by the Cross!
The Apostle Paul brings us more hope in 1 Corinthians 15:
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:55-56 ESV)
We continue to grieve the passing on of those whom we hold close in our hearts, but we must keep our eyes on the life to come. I will continue to pray for those of you who are mourning the loss of someone close to you today. Look up to the heavens where your help dwells and know that He sent a Helper and Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to hold you during this time. He is our Peace.
I also pray that you begin to see this life with eternal lenses and embrace the promises of everlasting life with Christ. Hide yourself in Him until your dying day or until He returns in His glory.
None of us know what day will be our last, so I pray, believe on Christ today, beloved!