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Oct 21 2011

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Oh Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

1 Corinthians 15:15 asks, “Oh death, where is thy string?  Oh grave, where is thy victory?”

These words come to our minds when we have loved ones who have loved and followed Jesus, and who are dying or who have recently died.  We know that they are simply leaving their bodies and going on to be with Jesus in a far better place than this earth –  a place where there is no sickness, no sorrow, and no pain.  Heaven is a place where they will see their precious Savior and worship Him forever, as well as seeing their beloved friends and family members who also followed Jesus while on this earth.

I am experiencing the truth of these words right now.  My mom lies in a hospital bed, and will soon be with the Lord.  As various family members have visited her yesterday and today, the common theme has been recounting the blessing that she and my dad have been to us over the years.  Our assurance of where Dad is and where Mom will soon be is unshakable, just as their faith and walk with God was unshakable over the years.  Although we have tears, we also laugh together and have joy, knowing that our separation from them is only for a little while.

So Mom’s approaching death does not sting.  Oh yes, we will miss her!  But we are happy that her days of pain and illness will soon be replaced with vibrant joy and vitality.  I think Dad and Jesus are preparing a welcome party!

I enjoy reading online journal entries by Ginger Krobath, a woman from my church who has an incurable disease that has left her wheelchair bound and unable to speak.  She communicates by moving her eyes to type on a computerized communication board.  She expresses the vibrant life and love that come from knowing Jesus.  Recently, when a local hero of faith passed away, she wrote these words:

Last Saturday, a week ago, I went to the funeral of a true hero, Helen Evans. I only knew her for about two years, yet she touched a place deep in my heart. Helen had a vision for the inner city youth of Harrisburg. Although she could have kicked back and enjoyed the fruits of her labor, she couldn’t ignore the longing in her heart.

She was moved with compassion for those society often write off. With a fearless tenacity, she stepped out in Christ’s love. Armed with the belief that she heard from God, Helen bought a rundown building in a drug infested neighborhood. Together with family and friends, she transformed it into a sanctuary for “at risk” kids. She was even known to go out and hug the drug dealers, telling them that she loved them. Possibly no one had ever said that to them before.

Within a short time, her brand of kindness was changing a community. Young people knew that she cared, and were drawn to the only shelter some had ever known. Many of these kids would have been trying to make their way through a minefield of everyday traps, alone.

Anyway, on the way to the funeral, I had a song running through my mind. Based upon the 23rd Psalm, it says in part: “Yea though I walk through the valley of shadows, I will fear no evil, I find peace.” All of a sudden I had a new revelation on those words.

Shadows have no substance. We can see shadows; some are really big and scary looking, others are small. However, they all have one thing in common. When you try to capture them, there’s nothing there. Death is like that. It doesn’t truly exist. It’s merely a shadow. We talk about death as though it were a reality, because it looks real, and feels so scary.

The truth is that we are far from mortal beings. From conception, and for all eternity, we are immortal spirits. We have a soul (mind, will, and emotions) and a mortal body in which we stay temporarily. But to fail to see the rest of the story, is to skip the best part.

We are invited to be joint heirs with Jesus Himself. We are given a seat in the presence of the Ruler of the Universe. Each trial we face is specifically permitted by a loving Father, who keeps us safely in His care, throughout. Never are we alone, or in any danger. When the test is over, we emerge so much wiser than before.

Back to my friend who left this earth. She left it a much better place because of her passion for others. She saw the bigger picture that many of us miss completely. Because she followed the Spirit’s lead, she didn’t miss one of the most defining moments in her life. There are people who will effect the future for generations to come. Like ripples in a pond, their influence will continue on and on. This is the Helen I knew, and I honor her.

 

Wow!  What a comforting thought Ginger shared!  I encourage you to read her journal at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/gingerkrobath.

You’ll be blessed!

Update:  Ginger has now gone on to be with her Savior, the Lord Jesus.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.daily-devotionals.com/2011/10/oh-death-where-is-thy-sting/

10 comments

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  1. Bill

    The words of your message, the strength of your faith speak to my heart. There is no doubt you mother is destine for Heaven, I pray for a peaceful, pain free passing. I pray for peace for all family member.
    Bill

  2. kamimwolf

    I’m having a hard time dealing with the death of my grandmother around this time last year & knowing there is a heaven-advice?

  3. LaurenEsplorin

    Dealing with a 2 yr death anniversary. All I got pulling me thru is view from heaven & see me smiling. They give me hope. <3

  4. I_SayWhatIThink

    Day 2 of funerals R.I.P. Uncle Joe dealing with death doesn’t feel good but I know going to heaven does

  5. syahoram

    “We’re dealing with all of the same things they did: love and death, time and pain, heaven and hell”

  6. alexfbaaaby

    Me believing that all dogs go to heaven makes it so much easier dealing with my puppy’s death ):

  7. LoriMooreBooks

    Lisa, FYI, I have a new book coming out for children about dealing with pet death. Hannah the Hedgehog Goes to Heaven.

  8. RunCamRun

    have any good resources dealing with theories of death? i.e. straight to heaven or stuck in the ground till Christ’s return?

  9. PatTchaikovsky

    “We’re dealing with all of the same things they did : love and death, time and pain, heaven and hell” – Florence

  10. LoriMooreBooks

    I have a new children’s book coming out about children dealing with pet death. Hannah the Hedgehog Goes to Heaven

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