Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Death will come to all of us.
The Bible calls it an enemy – an enemy that one day will be destroyed permanently.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Years ago, I think people dealt with death better than we do today.
The Encyclopedia of Children’s Health states: In 1900, children experienced firsthand, seeing a loved one die on the farm or in the home. Then, two world wars came and children experienced death in the remote events of far off places. By the 1950s, though some children did experience the death of a loved one in the Korean War, these were few. Death became an abstraction, something children only read about or experienced in a movie or television.
Death was expected and accepted. Were they stronger? If so, in what ways?
Don’t misunderstand. They hurt like we hurt when a loved one died. But I wonder if our world today, with all its conveniences and hurry-up-and-get-going tendencies, have created within us an inability to accept the slow and inevitable processes of life. We have been groomed to fix, forge, and no, failure is not an option.
Just food for thought.
With all our technological, medical, and scientific advancements, the common and routine can frustrate us.
That’s because we are limited. And the first step of grieving is acknowledging and admitting death is inevitable. The truth sets us free. That means the part of us which is weighed down with confusion, discouragement, frustration and disappointment breaks free with acceptance.
We are made of the same stuff as our predecessors who lost loved ones to disease, accidents, and war.
We cannot stop it.
Generations before us lived with death. Does this make our personal grieving easier? No. But it helps us to know we are made of the same stuff as our ancestors. We’re human.
We cannot control everything that happens to us the way we choose our ring tones or favorite search engine.
To grieve is to accept.
But to accept is to trust.
Trust in what? Or whom?
There is always someone who writes the book.
In the Beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth.
Some of us have ventured into the deep darkness of the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Some of us didn’t have any warning.
Some of us were thrust into it without permission.
Some of us have seen things others have not.
The death can be actual death. Or it can be the death of a dream, a prayer, a promise.
Don’t stick to your guns with what you thought you knew – just because you think you know it.
We’ve read the stories of many men and women throughout the centuries who have gone where we have not gone. We’ve taught about them and preached about them. We’ve been amazed at their faith – determination, endurance, tenacity, devotion, commitment. But they are mere stories on a page until the danger comes to our door. Then we find out what we’re made of. Or should I say – what God is made of.
Sometimes you can’t speak to the storm because it’s so loud it can’t hear you. Sometimes all you can do is hang on for dear life. Oh, but that doesn’t look very Christian. Really? I’m sure Job, Paul, and Jesus on the cross looked really “Christian”.
Trusting God doesn’t mean you have to look so good to everyone. We’re afraid we’re not representing God honorably if a hair is out of place. Who are you trying to fool?
Don’t be afraid to be you. God already knows who you are.
Don’t be afraid of the storm. Nothing is going to happen that God does not see.
Don’t be afraid if you don’t do your part, God will not come through. You will collapse from exhaustion.
Don’t cling to your performance, cling to God’s performance.
Some of us have seen the scenery in the Valley – where life has gone terribly wrong. And we have come out of the darkness with an understanding we didn’t have going in.
But no one listens.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
And there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever.”
Death is like a storm. The winds howl, the rain plummets, the sky is dark.
Beyond the threatening sky, there is blue sky and sunshine. You just can’t see it.
But it is there.
Death is not the end. But for now, it feels like it.
This Bible verse gives us hope:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21:4