Learning to Let Go
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? LAMENTATIONS 3:38, NIV
Few of us are comfortable with death. That's understandable. Humankind, originally, wasn't designed by God to die. Death is the unnatural ripping of the soul from the body.
And yet as our journey unfolds, nearly all of us will one day be confronted with the impending death of someone dear to us. Just thinking about it feels repulsive. To those who refuse to accept anything but sweetness and light in their relationship with God, a verse like the one above doesn't seem to belong in the Bible.
Paradoxically, in His wisdom, God allowed death to become a part of life. But by denying it, by constantly exhorting terminally ill loved ones to be more positive in their thinking, there is a point where instead of helping them, we merely deny them our company on this journey at a time when they need it the most.
To approach death as though God could never have a part in it creates a major dilemma for the seriously ill. To imply that death means God is no longer in charge threatens a person's freedom to experience His peace and comfort at life's end. To never understand that "it is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting" (Ecclesiastes 7:2) shows how little we understand about the promises waiting to be fulfilled for the Christian on the other side of life.
As my mom drew near to death, she kept asking me, "What do I need to do?" I said, "Mom, you don't really have anything left to do. Feel free to go home, to go on to heaven. It's okay." I was giving her permission to walk into the arms of her Savior, freeing her to embrace death.
Hard words? You bet. But God remains in control. Even in death, God is good . . . all the time.
Discuss your thoughts, fears and questions about death.
Pray for a godly perspective on death. Some day you'll need it.