19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.
28 Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Death seems to be all around me these days—even in my reading. The verses I had this time all had a reference to death in them and perhaps because of things happening in my life, God wanted to speak to me about this subject. As I have been pondering them, I read of the passing of the father of our sister blogger, Courtney, in yesterday’s blog post. I know how much she is hurting.
I recently took a trip to Texas to say goodbye to my brother. It is only a matter of days before I get “the call” telling me he has passed away. He has battled Parkinson’s disease for over twenty years. It broke my heart to see what the disease has done to him. He is no longer the energetic, vibrant man who regaled you with his songs, stories, and poetry. In my mind, though, I choose to remember him that way. Even though he can barely communicate any longer, he can still hum along with a song.
A very good friend from my small group lost her husband this past weekend. We sat in the hospital waiting room praying, asking God to do a miracle and heal him, and offering support where we could. But God took him home leaving behind a heartbroken wife. There are no words we can say to help her, God alone will give her the strength to walk through this loss. All we can do is be there to lend a helping hand and sympathetic ear.
11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.
As believers in Christ, though, we realize there is something beyond the pain of these partings. Death came to be because sin entered the world “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). Because of Christ and His death on the cross, all who have accepted Him as their Savior have eternal life. Death does not have the final say.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
There is no denying the pain that comes from the loss of a loved one. I have lost my mom, my dad, my best friend, and soon my brother. After each of their deaths, it felt as if there was a hole left in my heart. I miss them. If I had not allowed God to fill these empty places in my heart, I would not be have been able to get out of bed in the morning. If I did not trust in Him that one day we would be together for all eternity, I don’t know that I would have survived. I do not know how people who do not believe in Jesus get through for He alone was my Rock, my Strength. I believe His promise in Rev 21:4 “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.”
Heavenly Father, I know You feel our pain when a loved one is suffering or dies. You watched Your Son die a painful death on a cross. We long for the day there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain—no more partings. We thank You for the nearness of You during these times of loss for the bible says you are close to the brokenhearted. I pray for a special touch by You for any who may be grieving today. May we keep our eyes fixed on You! In Jesus holy name, Amen