Saturday, July 23, 2011

has death won?

Yesterday I got a phone call from my mom two minutes into my morning commute. A couple had been shot close to our home in a car the same color as ours, and she called to make sure we were alive. We are, and I assured her Tim and I were safe and sound.

As I made a left onto the entrance ramp, listening to "Concerning a UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois," I saw a pigeon laying on its belly on the side of the road, slowly turning itself around. The last time I saw a bird like that was a robin I rescued when I was nine. I named him Robbie, and he died the next morning. I started to tear up, and forced them back so I could keep my eyes on the road.

Last night, we heard about the bombing and shootings in Oslo. My heart goes out to the people of Norway, to the country of our great-great-grandparents. May God comfort your souls and give you peace.

It is hard to think about death. A serious reflection on it usually brings tears and distress. What if I lose someone I love? What if I die violently? What if I never get to say goodbye?

Death is distressing because we were not created for it. We were made to live forever. But we sinned, and now death is the doorway to eternity, whether that leads us to separation from God or unity with Him forever.

Death cuts us off from everything we have ever known, from the people and community we love, the places we cherish, the joys we cannot seem to live without. But it also reunites us to the ones who have gone on before, to the One we walked with in the garden at the beginning of time.

I would be lying to say death doesn't scare me silly at times. I'm not very bereaved, and it is difficult to know that I will lose people I love. In some ways I think that is ok. Knowing that death will come sooner or later, I want to live life to the fullest now. More importantly, I want to share with everyone around me the secret to eternal peace, love, joy, and life. Jesus Christ.

That being said, I don't want to fear death. Death comes to all and I know Jesus, the Savior. He conquered death by rising again. And He will not allow me to slumber in the ground forever. I will be reunited with Him for eternity. The One who loved me and you so much He died a violent death to save us. I don't need to be afraid of death.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

Jesus will also make all things right one day. He will wipe away our tears, and there will be no more death- no more bombings, no more shootings, no more cancer, no more starvation, no more suffering. There will be justice, there will be peace.

His heart breaks to see us on earth, suffering under our sin and the sins of others. Suffering for things that we don't deserve, for things that occur because the world is broken not because we are being punished.

A boy in Brooklyn was murdered recently walking home from summer camp. It wracked me up inside as I thought about his little body in pain as he died, to think about his parents. His parents will never be the same. Everyday they are going mourn, everyday they will wonder why they didn't do something differently. I couldn't stop thinking about him, and worrying about the little people I love. And I want justice, I want justice for that little boy and his family. I want justice for the people of Norway.

I don't know where you are today. Maybe someone you love has just passed away, maybe someone you love is battling cancer, maybe someone you love was just diagnosed with autism, maybe someone you love is far from God.

Maybe you don't know how to reconcile yourself to God when you are surrounded by suffering.

Jesus understands. He walked on this earth. He loved those who were suffering, and suffered Himself. And He has conquered death because of His deep, unquenchable love for you. Give Him the burdens you are too weak to carry anymore. Give Him your fears about death. Give Him your suffering.

These are things I am working through. I need to give Him my fear, my worries, my terror, my suffering.

He can carry us. Death will never win, Jesus has already defeated it through the cross.

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

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