Walking in the Valley

| June 22, 2017

life is fleeting

The last time I wrote I’d blogged about having children, and I’d wanted to share more about how God had brought me and my family through the valley of the shadow of death. But something worse than a shadow turned up in our lives.

About three months ago a tragedy hit our family. A sudden death.

I’ve always found deaths so difficult to deal with, but when it happens so suddenly the question that keeps coming up is, “how can this be?”  A healthy, relatively young adult, just dropping dead, just like that?

Yet it happens.

Needless to say this tragedy has been devastating. Especially since this is my sister’s husband. A doctor, age fifty, and, in what most people would have thought, in good health.

It happened in the morning 3 months ago. He’d just sent my niece to her first day at work—she’s a nurse. It was her orientation day. The man had just taken a selfie with his excited daughter, dropped her off, parked the car and walked across a park to his clinic. Except he never made it to his place of work.

Sadder still was that my sister was at the hospital (she’s a nurse there) and bumped into the policeman bringing her the news of the tragedy. I can’t even begin to imagine how my sister must have felt. Or how she made it through that day.

Death is a terrible thing. True it is part of life… but not really.

Because of what happened I went to the book of Genesis and looked through the story of Adam and Eve at the garden before the Fall. I wanted to reconcile this painful moment that had happened to my brother-in-law with what the Bible had to say about death. And there I saw that death was never meant to be when God created the world.

Yet for my sister and her family (and ours, too) here it is. As large as life—pardon the pun.

So where am I going with this?

Well, first, a confession.

My Confession

I detest death—for almost all life—except for roaches and ants. (I have to fess up that I’ve murdered some of these.)

Life is fleetingBut human death is tragic. God created life in the garden. He considered each day he’d created as “good.” But death came in the form of the serpent. Satan. Jesus himself called Satan a thief: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10 (NIV). In fact I did some research and found that the Bible mentions Satan as a destroyer 56 times.

All this to say that death is so hard to fathom, harder to accept, painful to grasp. No wonder God said that death is His enemy. The last enemy to be defeated — 1 Corinthians 15:26 says, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (KJV).

Which brings me to my main realization. That as a believer in Jesus, a born-again, Bible-believing (is there any other) Christian who holds the Word of God in utter respect, reverence and regard, I can face death with courage. With a surety that Christians do not die. Cannot die.

“This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.” John 6:50 (ESV)

This is the hope I cling on to for my children, my husband…that death will not separate us from each other. Not for long, not forever. Because we shall not die but sleep and pass into eternal life.

John 8:51 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.” (ESV)

The greatest pain I feel for my sister is that her husband, as far as I know, have never accepted Christ as his Savior. My sister too has never confessed with her lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in her heart that God raised Him from the dead. And therein lies the greatest tragedy of all.

For my brother-in-law it may be too late. (The Bible does say that some are snatched from the gates of hell. This could include him. I hope. I pray. ) But his death reminds me of how fleeting life is. Here today, gone tomorrow. And for some gone forever.

Ever since the day I received this terrible news—they live in New Zealand—I tell myself I will appreciate my family more–my husband, my children. Spend more time with them. Converse more. Gripe less, complain less, and be thankful more. That I have them. Still. And they have Jesus… I pray.

Because life is fleeting and eternity is a long time. Too long to risk a forever future.

The Lord keep you safe and well, my friend.

. . . . .

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13 Comments

  • Reply Heather Hart June 22, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I am so thankful for the promise of eternal life in Christ. But my heart breaks for all those who never knew.
    Heather Hart recently posted…Summer Schedules & JesusMy Profile

  • Reply Debbie Erickson June 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    So sorry for your loss, but PTL that you have Him to see you and your family through.
    Debbie Erickson recently posted…Three Tips On Pursuing Your GoalsMy Profile

  • Reply emma June 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for reading my blog. It is sad indeed for those who don’t know Christ. Alas, I don’t know if my brother in law knew HIM or not. When I first became a Christian I was “On fire” and always trying to witness to the unsaved. But being new, and also immature, I think I always dd more harm than good. So now, I am cautious to share Christ, lest in doing so I create more harm than good! It is a hard balance.

  • Reply Julie June 22, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    So sorry for your loss!
    This post has come at a great time for me. Our family unexpectedly lost someone close too 3 weeks ago.
    She is in heaven and we can excitedly say we will see her again!

  • Reply Alice Mills June 26, 2017 at 8:59 am

    In ministering to grieving people, I have found the best place to start is exploring their belief/disbelief in eternal life. Many times in have seen God reassure His people that their loved ones still live.

  • Reply Erin June 26, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Wow. Such a hard topic to discuss and I applaud you for even attempting it. I, too, take death VERY hard even as a believer. I believe your statement “I can face death with courage. With a surety that Christians do not die. Cannot die.” will be my new mantra. Thank you.
    Erin recently posted…Painted RocksMy Profile

  • Reply Char June 26, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for the sobering reminder. Every day is a gift. Death is so painful. I am sorry for your loss, but appreciate you sharing your insights for the rest of us.

  • Reply Charly300589 June 26, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Yes we are only here for a time. We have to rejoice in the fact that we are going to be reunited in a perfect world free from pain and despair. I await that day where I can hear “Well done my good and faithful servant”

  • Reply Heather June 26, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    My sister has never fully accepted Christ either and it breaks my heart. I’ll admit that death scares me. I know that my children and husband will be with me always, but the though of so many others I am very close to perhaps not being with me always is terrifying to me. I am sure when I am surrounded by God’s glory I won’t even think about anything earthbound, but for right now it is very sad to me. And I pray God comforts your sister and all of you. I cannot imagine losing my husband, especially so unexpectedly.

  • Reply Chelsea Bolks June 27, 2017 at 12:40 am

    I am so sorry about your family’s loss. It is a sober reminder when non-christians die that we should try to do all we can to share Christ with them while they are still on this earth. I read a wonderful quote that tickled me – your blog reminded me of it – “you can’t kill a Christian, only change his address!” Praise God for eternal life through his son!

  • Reply Lo @ Mrs. Lo Tanner June 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

    My mind has never truly been able to grasp the concept of death. I can’t say I know why that is. But even in something as difficult to grasp as death, I find comfort in the fact that God redeems death for His family. Just like you I hold onto that promise.
    Lo @ Mrs. Lo Tanner recently posted…The 5 Love Languages of ChildrenMy Profile

  • Reply Kristi June 28, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I grew up attending more funerals than weddings simply because we had so many “older” people in our family. I always appreciate the funerals…they were more of a time of celebration. Yes, we felt the loss physically but I learned to rejoice for the eternal. It’s a gift I’m thankful to have learned at a young age.
    Kristi recently posted…Who’s in God’s House?My Profile

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