September 11, 2014

Today you should read: Ecclesiastes 9

DEATH – Enemy or Friend?

At first glance, today’s reading seems a bit depressing…

This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.  The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t. It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway. (vs. 1-3)

Let’s face it, death is a scary thing – even when you know where you’re going.  For many of us, it’s not where we’re going that we fear – it’s the process of getting there that concerns us.

I remember coming face-to-face with this in a real way when we moved to Lexington to start Center Point.  I took a job working at a cemetery, and one of my responsibilities was to stand at the graveside ceremonies each day.  I heard many sets of “final words” and watched families of young and old mourn.  I remember an especially hard day when a young mother passed and left behind a tender husband and kids.  I really struggled with this – death seemed horrible to me.  Then I began to observe some elderly friends who were tired, lonely (missing their departed loved ones), and simply ready “to go home” to heaven.  I realized that death is not nearly as horrible as I thought for everyone. For some it’s an enemy while for others it’s a friend.

The Bible has a lot to say about death that encourages me.

God is aware and cares deeply about the death of His saints:

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.  Psalm 116:15

God has numbered the days of those who know Him.  God has planned exactly how long I will stay on earth and when I’ll go home to be with Him forever.  This brings me peace.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:16

I can rest in the fact that when it comes time for God to call me home to be with Him, He will give me “dying grace” to get through it.  God’s faithful until the end.  You don’t need to worry – you can trust Him.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

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