Since June, I have been to four funerals. There were even others besides those that I knew of. Death is always tragic, but none of these were expected, and two of them were young people and completely sudden. One left children behind so tragically, with no earthly parents; one left children and a wife behind…both were young and unexpected.
As my mind has tried to comprehend the range of emotions that I have felt and witnessed these past few months, I have realized my earthly mind is not meant to wrap around it.
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
Yet, I find comfort in that. I do not need to know why, but I do need to know God. When all seems to be storming around us, out of the whirlwind He speaks.
And He has spoken in whispers these past few weeks through the many miracles I have witnessed. Not the earthly miracles we all prayed for, but miraculous evidence of God ‘s work. I witnessed a friend, now a young widow, with arms raised high praising her Savior as she worshiped through her husband’s life celebration service. A truly miraculous display of strength and faith. I saw Jesus working through her.
I witnessed hundreds of people at the service hear the Gospel….they heard it from the preacher, friends, and yes, the wife. She spoke without holding back, so eloquently in such a time of despair…one can only do that through Him who gives the strength. She spoke of her husband’s love for Jesus and if only ONE person came to know Jesus through His life and death, then it was not in vain. That is miraculous faith.
I have never worshiped like that before. In the midst of enormous pain, there was so much beauty. I sobbed uncontrollably as I raised my voice to my Savior along with a choir of other believers. We praised through the pain. There was so much pain, but it was mixed with such hope. I was changed right then and there.
The days following had me thinking so much about the fleetingness of life. I may not wake up tomorrow. But I am ok with that. Because I know where I am going. My husband may not wake tomorrow, but I would know he would be in glory. And even though the earthly pain is incomprehensible, the glory in heaven is so far beyond that pain, that there is hope. So much hope.
These are all things that have to be reconciled because the truth is we are all going to die someday. No one wants to think about it, and we avoid and try to run from it, but we must. Because if we don’t our eternity is at stake.
We plan for our work, our life, our retirement… we are always making plans. Yet we don’t plan for our eternity; and the truth is our eternity is forever, much longer than the quick blip we are here on this earth. We need to stop living like this is all there is. We can’t be surprised when death occurs. It is part of life.
So as I thought about these things, I told my husband- please, when my time comes, let my service be like our friend’s– a CELEBRATION – because I am home. A celebration because there is no end in death. It is only the beginning. It is a homecoming. And use it to make sure all HEAR the Gospel. Don’t weep, but rejoice for I will be home!
Yet, as I thought of these things, I realized why would I wait until that day? Let me make sure all hear NOW. While I am alive! So that I can see my friends and family filled with the hope that I have in Jesus!
My dear readers and all who come across this blog post, I want you to know…There is no end in death. There is only, victory. What may look like an earthly tragedy may just be the beginning of life eternal. And it is all because of Jesus.
My life is evidence that every word in the Bible is true. I have seen the transformation that has taken place and continues (God isn’t done with me yet!) because I have put my full trust in Jesus Christ and His resurrection. It is not just an ideology to believe, but it is a true and literal transformation that takes place on the inside and pours out.
And that is why I can say without a doubt…O, death where is your sting? Because I know without a doubt, 100% that Jesus Christ died for sinners to take away sin so that all those who believe, will be no longer be separated from God, but will be raised up with Jesus one day in eternity. There is victory, even in death.
You see, the reason we humans are always searching for something in this life is because we are not complete. We are separated from God. He created us and we long to be with Him. He is truth and love. Yet, we were all born into a sinful world and have sin in our flesh. And since we serve a holy God, we can not because of His character, be in His presence as sinners. It’s impossible. Because He is without sin. He is Holy.
So God provided a way for us. He provided Jesus, and His death and resurrection, so that all sin will be wiped away, and those who trust in Him can enter God’s presence as completely sinless. And we can live in eternal glory with Him, forever! No tears, no suffering, no pain…only eternal joy and worship of our God!
When I heard these truths for so long I didn’t grasp it. I mean, it sounded too good to be true. I was the worst sinner I had known. No, really. The worst. How could that be erased? Yet, over time when I began to trust Jesus and get to know God through reading my Bible, He literally began to transform me. My thinking changed, my actions changed, my whole being changed. I am a new creation!
I know who I was and who I am now. The difference is enormous. And that is only by God’s work. I could never, ever have done any of that apart from Him. I only hope that every single person who reads this would come to know that transforming love of Jesus.
He is the only way to eternal life. We can’t make our own rules. I tried that before. It did not work. We must follow Him, and we can do it by simply trusting and asking Him to change us. Then get to know Him in God’s Word and let Him continue the transformation.
The beauty of the Gospel is this: I am so imperfect. I am a sinner. And that is why I need a Savior. Christians are not mightier or higher than thou- they are all sinners in need of a Savior. This isn’t about elections or politics or being right or wrong. This is about your soul. For eternity. And the joy that can come in this life from walking in that truth.
As I look around this broken world, which seems to be getting darker each day, I would ask you all to consider this:
If you have questions, please talk to me. If you are seeking, please pray. I will pray with you and for you. I was once lost– so, so lost. But now am found. And I want nothing more but to see the same for every person I come in contact with.
Jesus saved me. He will save every single one who turns to Him. In a world full of promise breakers, He can only keep His promise. Because He is truth. He is without sin. He will keep His promises.
This life will end. That is the truth.
“I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Yes, when we see death we can say, “O, death where is your sting?” Because of Jesus, we do not weep as those who weep, but as those who have HOPE.
And even though my eyes may be tear-filled these days, they will continue to be fixed on Jesus. The One where I rest my life and hope. The One I live for.
So please, please, consider Jesus. And let me know. I will pray for you.