Death

Extra!

No, this is neither Monday nor Friday. That’s because I felt the need to address something that really doesn’t fit with the theme of either of those days.

Here’s what I am hearing lately:

“I had another funeral to attend this week. This is getting so hard.”

“Three of my friends died recently. Three!”

“I don’t remember so many people dying.”

This has affected my circle as well. In the last two months, I have lost two close friends. Another at the beginning of the year. Close friends. I haven’t tried to count the acquaintances or distant relatives who have died in just the past year.

Yes, I know I am getting older. This is one of the struggles of age. Not only do we know more people, but the people in our circle also grow older. Death becomes a more familiar part of our lives as we age. We almost need to plan for it.

But something more seems to be happening. The statistics suggest that more people are dying. Numbers are especially alarming in the 18-50 age group. You can do the research on “death by all causes.” Some insurance companies have said that there were 40% more deaths in 2021 than the average yearly rate for the previous five years. It is difficult to research this because of the politics, but something seems to be happening.

I truly want to avoid the politics that seem to circle around this. Obviously, COVID is a significant factor, or at least deaths attributed to it. It is also obvious that the vaccines factor in somehow. Depression and stress must also be involved. The struggles of this world have certainly increased.

So, please don’t leave comments about COVID and the vaccines. That isn’t what this is about. This is about the loss so many of us are feeling right now.

Yes, it does seem that more people are dying. You and I are facing the reality of death more often and more bluntly than we have. And it hurts. Not only does it sober our days to think of our own mortality, we simply miss the people who are now gone from our lives. And we have to find ways to handle all that.

Acknowledge your pain. Tell the Lord how your heart hurts. Tell Him how the dark valley of death wants to overwhelm you with fear and grief. Take your struggle to Him. He is with you, and He cares.

Then, thank Him for the life of the person now lost to you. Thank Him for every memory of that person and every blessing that came through that person. Let your thankfulness transform your memories into joy. What God gave you was good.

Finally, trust in the Lord who is stronger than death. Those friends and family members who belonged to Jesus are enjoying His presence in a way you and I can only begin to imagine. They are happy. Whatever mysteries surround death for believers, that much is certain. Those who have gone before us have simply gone home. They wait for us.

And what about those who made no claim to a relationship with Jesus? How do we feel good about their passing? No matter how close they were to me, I have to put them in the hands of the Lord. Without compromising the clear teachings of Scripture, I simply trust in the loving God. I don’t suppose I can ever feel good about it, but I can release it to Him.

Death is a part of the journey. For us and for those we love. Sometimes, like now perhaps, it is not as hidden or avoidable as we would like. Sometimes we just have to face it. But we don’t have to face it alone.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me.”

Please know that I am praying for you. These waters will not overwhelm you. Take all your grief and fear to the Lord. He loves you.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Death

  1. Diana

    Thank you for the extra weekly posting. It is a timely blessing for me. I lost my sister in March at the age of 59 and just lost my Dad at the age of 79. With each passing there are new voices in my head, regrets, triggers, and peace knowing they are not suffering in this upside down world. Focus on the Lord. He allows all things, including healing from grief. ❤️‍🩹

  2. Judith Mackenzie

    Thanks, Dave. I lost my husband of over 31 years , July 2021. He died suddenly from a massive heart attack at aged 58. I found him lying on the bed and could tell that he was gone. I’m in the maelstrom of grief and was not certain if my husband was saved in the final moments of his life, but I was always praying for his salvation while he was here on this earth and you know, I am believing he made it to heaven! I don’t want to go into specifics, but there were lots of things going on in his life that were physically and mentally going to really become unbearably hard on us both in the near future and I believe God showed us both His great mercy and love by taking my husband out of what was waiting for him and I down the road (though I still ache that he’s not with me and miss him every moment). I trust that God took him out of that bleak situation and took him to Himself, healing all the physical and mental wounds and showing me such mercy. It’s difficult to fully comprehend it…but I am trusting God. He knows best. Please pray for me.

  3. Loy

    I lost my Dad a year ago August.
    It still hurts and burns, all the opportunities lost. In a way I feel like I failed him. Maybe I could have done more helped more.
    Don’t let hurt feelings come between people you love.
    I love all of you and God Bless all of you.

  4. Mindy

    Beautiful post ❤️

  5. Steve Tompkins

    Pastor Dave, I offer my deepest condolences for the loss of your close friends. Praying for you. Also, thank you for this extra post and addressing this tough subject. These words were very helpful and encouraging!

  6. Thank you for this caring, encouraging, and timely post, Pastor Dave. Yes, I have lost loved ones in the past couple of years. And, in less than 2 hours from now, I am going to have an MRI scan of my brain, because I have recently started having something like seizures, which I have never had before. The Lord is my Shepherd… Amen.

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