“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15 (NIV)
Death is no stranger in God’s Word and, for the believer, is merely another step in the cycle of transition from earthly life to heavenly life. Death is part of God’s plan. Still, it brings great sorrow when we lose much-loved family members. We may console ourselves that perhaps Jesus will return before that day, but the reality is He has not returned yet, and so death still plays a part in the life of our families.
We are born, we live, and then we die. It is considered the inevitable process. It has been this way for century upon century, since the beginning of time as we know it. No matter how we live, or how well we take care of our bodies, time will eventually have its way and we will become weary, worn out, and, quite often, ready and willing to make that transition to death.
Medical science has made great strides in keeping us healthier longer, and many diseases have either been cured, eradicated, or brought under better control. But God’s plan, once Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, includes death for all living creatures, including man, His greatest and most loved creation. Death is inevitable, but we can trust that God’s plan is perfect. Death serves a divine purpose, for as Jesus arose again, so shall the saints of God.
Today I have learned my mother will be admitted to hospice care. She is sleeping more and more, and communicating less and less. She has a medical issue now and then, and is shipped off to the local hospital, treated for a few days, and then shipped back to her facility, which she hates. She has more or less checked out of life, refusing food and any form of activity. They call it dementia, and tell us this choice she has made is a part of the “disease process.” She is content to simply sleep. So to prevent her continued suffering with the “issues” and the transfers, God will use hospice to help her home.
We could be fearful, or desperate, or in denial. We could even be angry with God. But God explains death all throughout Scripture. Its presence should never surprise us. The comforting truth is that a follower of Christ will ascend to Heaven at the time of earthly death. It is the reward for giving one’s self to Him, embracing Him and His ways, loving Him and those He loves.
My mother is one of the saints of the LORD. And while it is difficult for my family and I to know she will soon cross over, knowing she is in His loving care during this time brings great comfort. She will know no pain, or anxiety, or any kind of trial. She will one day fall asleep, and wake up on the glorious shores of Heaven, and look into the eyes of her beloved Savior. She will be home, where life is eternal, and joy abounds. And we will find our comfort in this.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
How did you react when you lost a loved one to death? Please share your experiences and your victories regarding the death of a loved one.