I write this with bitter sweet emotions. For the second time in the last few months I have had to say goodbye to another good friend.
But, I find comfort in what the BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) says.
In the Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three, the words of the wise man and great King Solomon are recorded:
“There is a time and a season for every purpose in everything done under heaven: There is the time to plant, and a time to pluck up; There is the time to kill, and there is a time to heal; There is a time to love, and there is a time to hate; There is a time of war, and there is a time of peace; There is a time to weep, and there is a time to laugh; There is a time to mourn, and there is a time to dance; There is a time to be born, and there is a time to die.”
Death is the one appointment we all must keep — no exemptions – no exceptions. Hebrews 9:27 states: “It is appointed unto every man once to die, but after that the judgment.” I have an appointment with death. You have an appointment with death. It’s the one appointment we can’t cancel or ignore. We won’t be late, call in sick or have any excuse to postpone.
Something else Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:1, referring to those who die in faith is: “The day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” And his father King David actually said in Psalm 116:15: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” We may wonder, how can this be, that the death of a loved one, which brings the deepest grief of any human experience, is to God precious?
It is because death is the final separation between the children of God and our Heavenly Father! It is the final barrier we all must pass through before breaking into the everlasting light of God’s eternally blessed, peaceful, and joyful presence! And this is why death holds no fear for the child of God. As David said in Psalm 23: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.”
When our time comes to pass through that final exit of Death’s Valley into the land of the living, we whose trust is in Christ, can face it without fear. Now I know that most people think that this Earth is the land of the living, but they are mistaken. We here on earth are in the land of the dying! Heaven is the land of the living where death cannot enter! Don’t believe me? Get out your old yearbook picture. Hmmm Those who have died in Christ are more alive than we are.This is why we can experience the death of a loved one without feeling the sting of death.
This does not mean that we will not feel the pain of our loss. It’s impossible not to feel grief and sadness. These are part of the natural human grieving process. Even Jesus wept at the tomb of His dear friend Lazarus.
For Paul said in 1Thess. 4:13: “We do not sorrow as those who have no hope.” And there is a difference! Paul said: “But I would not have you ignorant concerning them which are asleep (in death), that you sorrow not even as those who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” The question is: Do we believe this? I do!
My dear friends, I humbly request that you search the pages of Holy Writ for yourself. These are not my words but God’s love letter to us. He loves you so very much, that He died for you.
Today, is the day of salvation, and now is the accepted time. Receive His free gift. We are not guaranteed tomorrow!
May God bless and comfort you with these words.