Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Renewing Mind: Not the End

Today I truly meant to write something lighter and playful, perhaps, if I was lucky, even funny.

But then I learned that the son of a friend of mine died.

I don’t pretend to really know what that must be like. I have only had grandparents die. While that was painful, the relationship from my end is different. I try to imagine what it would be like to have my daughter die; just the thought is enough to make me almost burst into tears. When I think of it, it is like the muscles in my chest try to crush my heart. That is just thinking about it, so I can barely fathom what experiencing it would be like.

To any of you suffering from this tragedy, or from any other loss of life, you have my deepest sympathies.

Death is a tragedy. I have never really understood those who claim that death is a part of life, that it is natural. We were meant for eternity, to live forever in God’s presence. The death of a being made in God’s likeness is anything but natural. Our spirits should have been so full of the light and life of God that we never age, never die. Death is a consequence of the nature we all now inherit. As my pastor said recently, we are made in the likeness of God, but unfortunately born with the likeness of Adam. So as death should have never come to us, it is only right that we should mourn when anyone dies.

Becoming a believer means that the likeness of God in you has been redeemed. While we will all still die a physical death, our souls will live on with God. This makes the grieving process a strange affair. You know that death is not the end for any believer. You know that you will see them again and in the best of circumstances. A Christian doesn’t mourn the loss of a fellow believer, because no fellow believers are ever lost. We mourn because we can’t immediately follow and must live more years without them. We don’t mourn so much for them leaving as for us staying.

The True Tragedy comes when those we love die without Christ. They will be separate from God, and therefore us as well. That is something over which to truly grieve. That is something that we should fight against with everything we are. That convicts me—that I am such a coward that I don’t share Jesus with everyone I meet.

To my friend whose son has gone ahead, I am so sorry. I hope that our Lord Jesus would make His face to shine upon you and your family and give you all peace.

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