No one wants to talk about it. No one wants to think much about it. Most are in denial that it will even happen, but it is a certainty no one can escape. I am face to face with it every week where I work.
Life here is not meant to be permanent. One day I will die. So, too, will every person I hold dear around me.
It is sad. Or, is it? Perhaps a shift in perspective is needed. What if death is more of a gift than an event to run from? What if instead of worrying about it, I spend my time preparing for it?
Erwin Lutzer's perspective in the book, One Minute After You Die, is rare in today's culture. He remarks, "God prevented Adam and Eve from eternal sinfulness by giving them the gift of death, the ability to exit this life and arrive safely in the wondrous life to come. Death, though it would appear to be man's greatest enemy, would in the end, prove to be his greatest friend. Only through death can we go to God."
How else could I see my savior's face? How else could suffering and tears be erased forever? I do not think the alternative, living here forever, seems inviting. I know there is more beauty, more goodness than I can behold here on earth. I hunger for the day all is put right.
For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:
“As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God."
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
(Romans 14:10b - 12 NIV)
If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you'll lose it,
but if you let that life go, you'll get life on God's terms.
(Luke 17:33 MSG)
Instead of dreading my own death and worrying that something will happen to those around me (which it will eventually), I choose to make the most of the time that I have. I will purposefully weave love out of this one little thread of a life that I have been given.
And what of the uncertainties, the seemingly unfairness of some who exit before I expected them to? I remind myself that I do not have the whole picture, the perfect perspective from my vantage point on earth. As Ann Voskamp says in One Thousand Gifts, "Maybe (I) don't want to change the story, because (I) don't know what a different ending holds."
My story will have an ending. It will be a glorious one. I pray my life will be a page-turner, full of enough adventure and sacrifice that those who observe the plot will be drawn in and forever changed.
God, I am so excited to see you face to face one day. I pray that I will shine for you in all the days you have given me. I want to walk worthy of the calling I have received. I give to you the timing of my loved ones deaths. I have no control anyway. I trust you will give me peace that surpasses all understanding when I will need it the most. Amen.