It’s hard to accept death and dying, especially when it comes too close to home. Yet death and dying are part of life. No one will stay on earth forever. Yet somehow we still would like to pretend death and dying are not part of our lives. And when death claims one of our own, we might even be angry at God for taking our loved one. We’d like to have cake and eat it too.
It’s human to not want death and dying for ourselves or our loved ones. That’s why even Jesus’ disciples were spooked by Jesus talking about his death. Peter even rebooked Jesus. And Jesus had to set Peter straight on the matter. Quite harshly, I must add. But it was – and still is – a matter of life and death. Without Jesus dying for our sake, we as well as Peter would die in our sins.
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23, NIV, emphasis added,*)
Accepting death and dying …
What causes us more pain than necessary is that we have in mind merely human concerns. Our enemy wants us to believe happiness without God and greatness without death is possible. But human concerns do not lead to Life even though we might insist so. This may lead towards anger at God when things don’t go the way we want them to. But God knows best and he uses even bad things for our ultimate good when we surrender them to him.
I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone [just one grain, never more]. But if it dies, it produces much grain and yields a harvest. The one who loves his life [eventually] loses it [through death], but the one who hates his life in this world [and is concerned with pleasing God] will keep it for life eternal. (John 12:24-25, *)
When we surrender our dreams, hopes, and our concerns to God, we die. Life on-demand changes into life on-surrender. It feels scary but it is the only way that leads to real life and real happiness. Human concerns do not bring everlasting peace, joy, or life. The concerns of God do.
…is hard yet necessary.
God’s plan for us is more than merely human concerns (yet he knows even them). God wants good things for us. When we understand this, we can trust God even when the worst happens in our lives.
Sometimes everything but God is taken away from us. But he is enough. More than enough. We can’t understand it (and we don’t have to). It really is a miracle. God will carry us through the tough times and he will sustain us through the good times. He is such a good Father. Trust him. Rest in him. Rejoice in him. Always and forevermore.
Thank you for wanting what’s best for us
even when it goes against our wishes.
Enable us to trust you even when darkness surrounds us.
Strengthen us when we are weak, Lord.
We surrender our ways, our wishes, and wants to you,
create something new and beautiful out of our lives.
Let us get to know you better and
help us to see ourselves, our lives, and the world from your perspective.
Empower us to live according to your will.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Is it hard for you to accept death and dying as part of your life? Why/why not?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you learn to trust God with everything!