In the untimely death of a loved one we are reminded again how fragile life is – and how short it can be. Deep down inside, we know this but we tend to “forget” until death happens to someone close to us. It’s during these seasons in life we are virtually stripped of our self-reliant facades and must shockingly come face to face with the reality of death. And it is a hard reality.
But, it is a part of life – the ugly part. The truth is, it’s so ugly, we cannot deal with it on a day to day basis. So we paddle along down the river of life and never even give it a second thought, until the stench of death hits us squarely in the nostrils again.
Almost every funeral I have ever attended, the Preacher warns of an eternity without Jesus Christ as Savior. He warns of being forever separated from the loving God who created us in His own image. We sit in the funeral parlor and hear that message, and we KNOW it is the truth. We feel the undeniable presence of the Holy Spirit of God in those words - with the certainty of death sometimes displayed in the lifeless body of our loved one nearby.
Then, just like nothing ever happened, people just get up and walk out, still lost…Still pulling that proverbial slot machine lever on their life - taking a gamble that they will have “someday” to get right with God. Afterwards, we stand around outside and talk about the weather or some other inane thing that means nothing. How can we do that? We just looked at death two minutes before and did nothing about our own pathetic life! Is it unbelief? Do we live in a fantasy world of our own minds?
Why is Jesus not as real to you in your everyday life as He is while sitting in that funeral parlor? What is the ingredient in our hearts that keeps us from believing and submitting our lives to God? Why do people avoid the thought of their own death like the plague? Death should not be an uncertainty – we should not wonder or be terrified of what will happen to us when we die. The Bible tells us plainly. We should know and trust in the promises of God in His word. The Apostle Paul said (for a believer) “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
Jesus is real. He is as real as death is but He is the opposite – Jesus is life. Abundant life here and eternal life forevermore with Him! Heaven is a real place. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us there. But there is another place in this death thing. And although we may not like to think about it - it doesn’t change the fact that: hell is real, too.
Great article, My brother has recently died and the Holy Spirit was very much at his funeral and your right in everyting you say. People just get up and walk out and never look back. God help us all, death will come to each of us. I would rather know where i'm going.
This is excellent writing, Julia. You dealt very well with a subject that is not popular, even with Christians. Oh, we do not mind discussing death in a general way and how Jesus has taken the fear and sting out of death. But when death visits our own family, we find out what a dreadful foe it is. Thank God for the very real hope we have, but don't often find in a personal way, until death comes knocking on our door. Good job, good writing. Linda