death

A Front Row Seat

The sun shone down and warmed our faces and backs and we spoke in whispers, as folks often due at cemeteries.  A group of men assigned to the task of pallbearers gathered together and made their way to the approaching hearse to attend to their responsibility. The blue casket was pulled from the vehicle and steadily carried to the tent where the group of talkers were now seated or standing under the tent for this last part of the funeral. The service had been the night before at the church.  Today it was time for the committal.

I was honored to be seated with the family, though I didn’t really belong there. I was no Continue reading “A Front Row Seat”

death · eternal · Fear · Fear of death

The Beauty of Death

Hi friends!  I’m back! To you perhaps I was only gone yesterday, but I’ve been away for a week and a half.  We had family vacation that was such a precious time, and I might also add, very needed.  We tend to go at break-neck speed, so getting out of town to rest and refresh is truly critical for ministry families (and I’m sure every other family!!).  We got to spend those days at the ocean.  Here’s a totally unedited picture of the sunrise on our last day there…

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That was well worth getting up early to see!

I was amazed that there were a few people walking away from the sunrise that morning instead of towards it!  Why  would you turn your back on something so beautiful?  I couldn’t understand that one!

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We got home from vacation on Sunday and while we were unpacking the car, we learned that a dear man in our church had been taken to the hospital.  We dropped everything and went to spend the evening with him and his daughter.  He’s a precious member of our church and truly like family to us.  We went to the hospital, not watching the clock, but his face, and also his chest rising slowly with each deliberate breath.  This event changed everything his week would have looked like.  Instead of being in the comfort of his home, he was being poked and probed, and was now confined to a small room with beeping machines and IV drips that allowed him to sleep.  It seems that his day to leave this world is imminent. Scripture tells us…

It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this, the judgment. Hebrews 9:27

I visited him in his hospital room again yesterday.  As I drove home later in the day, I thought about all the people passing by me in their cars, scurrying here and there, sure they’re going to have tomorrow, making plans as though they’ll live forever.  Some are ignoring God and His call to trust Christ for salvation.  They assume that this thing of dying is far off.  They are like the people on the beach who were walking away from the sunrise, ignoring the fact and the beauty that was just behind them.

These moments are appointed to each of us.  If Christ doesn’t return first, we will each die. We will each have a change in the plans we were making for that day.  Do you understand that death can be, not just a fact, but a beautiful thing? Oh the process can be ugly and hard, but the end result of death is seen in this verse as being precious…

Psalm 115:16 – Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Psalm 23 reminds us that death is only a shadow, and a shadow cannot hurt you.  For our dear friend, when he takes his last breath here, he will open His eyes in heaven.

Absent from the body present with the Lord!  II Corinthians 5:6

He has this assurance because He received Christ as His Savior for His sins.  He trusted in what Christ did for him on the cross and those truths make dying beautiful.  Our friend’s death, whenever it happens, has reminded me that death is like that sunrise – it will happen, and I can look forward to it and see the beauty in it.

Are you turning your back on the reality of death?  If you’re afraid, is it because you don’t have an assurance of eternity with the Lord?  Trust Him today to save you and receive the joy of walking with Him here, and having the comfort of a beautiful meeting in heaven One Day!

Denise

 

death

An Appointed Time

Yesterday morning I woke up with an old memory very fresh in my mind.  I was reminded of a day when I was a 13 year-old girl living in Winchester, Kentucky.  I had gone to my bedroom to hang my jacket on the hook on the back of my door.  I tilted my head back and lifted my arms to raise my coat up, and when I did, the sour ball candy that was in my mouth slid down my throat like a speeding bowling ball on a well-greased lane.  I couldn’t cough, gasp or breathe.  It was STUCK in my windpipe. 

I ran into the kitchen where my mother was getting ready to cook supper.  I pointed to my throat, unable to make a sound.  I was frantic, of course, and she couldn’t understand exactly what was going on.  I bent over and pointed at my back while motioning for her to hit me to try to dislodge the candy. Beating did no good, of course, but now understanding that I was choking, she told me to put my hand down my throat and try to dislodge what was there.  At this time I was picturing the ambulance that would inevitably have to come and take me to the hospital because of my inability to breathe.  Desperate, I did what my mother said, and stuck my hand down my throat to try to move the obstruction.  Miraculously, my finger touched it, got behind it, and then sent it sailing across the room.  Air!  It seemed like an eternity since I’d had any. 

What relief my mother and I both felt, realizing that things could have gotten very serious in just a matter of minutes.  That experience did two things for me –

  1. It made me turn down any round candy ever offered to me after that!
  2. It made me realize the truth that until God is ready for my life to end, He will leave me here.

The flip-side of that is also true – when God is ready to call me home, nothing will keep me here.  Our days are written in God’s book. ” It is appointed unto man once to die” Hebrews 9 says.  That’s why we must each be sure that we know Christ as our own Savior; it could happen in a moment.

I’m sure the reason the memory of my choking was on my mind is due to the many in our church family that have recently suffered some sort of physical trauma.  It’s frightening to see a loved one go through something like this, to see them on the brink of death, wondering if each breath will be their last.  We need to be reminded of the Truth that God  is in the heavens and will do what pleases Him.  Whatever that is, it will be good.  It will be just.  It will be right, because He is good, just and right. 

You and I can trust Him today for our life, and the lives of those we love.  None of us will leave this world until God so ordains, and on the day that that happens, it will be His perfect plan, complete with His sufficient grace.

With love,

death · Stillbirth · trials

My Flesh Faileth

This morning as I read the next psalm in our study for Sunday School I was taken back twenty-one years ago to a time when three verses from Psalm 73 became “my own.”

It was mid summer of 1987. I was 29 years-old and expecting my second child. My three year-old was excited about her baby brother or sister that would be delivered in a few months. My husband and I were attending a conference in Iowa, so our daughter, Whitney, was being cared for at home by her grandparents in our absence. Continue reading “My Flesh Faileth”