To Die is Gain

The Spectrum of Death

Love does not cease when we die, thoughts do not perish, growth does not come to an end. Beauty does not vanish. If God is as we know Him to be, then the lives of His people will be richer and happier. We"ll not lose contact with our loved ones when they die if we believe in life after death and believe that we are going to be with them.

I like these words which I once read: "If we look at life in the large (which is the way God looks at it and the way God wants us to look at it), can it matter greatly whether this moment which marks the passing of one phase to another comes a few years sooner or a few years later? After all, the real measure of any life is its quality and not its earthly duration. There can be no sting in the death of a child of God, only victory. Victory over the pain and toil of this earthly life. Sometimes the victory comes only after the toil and pain are experienced, sometimes it is won before ever the toil and pain are known. In either case it is victory with or without the struggle."

Many people just go along in life somewhat immune to disasters, to illnesses, and life for them is smooth. Oh, they read about the train wreck that killed x number of people, they see pictures on television that tell about the airplane crash in which one hundred people lost their lives. They read about those who drowned, the freak automobile accident, and the famines in the Near East. They even send flowers across town to an acquaintance who lost a loved one. But they themselves are immune. They have never really sensed tragedy because life for them is smooth.

Then one day death visits their homes and the bottom drops out of their world. This is the time when the stricken father loses his faith and the heartbroken mother cries out, "Why, God, did You do this?"

It is hard to answer questions like this. We can say that death is universal, that death is no respecter of persons. It strikes here, it strikes there. It is inevitable. Scripture says, "It is appointed unto men once to die" (Heb. 9:27).

On an average:

These are a few Scripture verses which have comforted God"s people throughout the ages:

When a Middle-Aged Person Dies

"Her sun is gone down while it was yet day" Jer. 15:9. for [man"s] days ore as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth, For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more" Ps. 103: 15, 16.

"Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity" Ps. 39: 4, 5.

When an Elderly Person Dies

"Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like a shock of corn cometh in in his season" Job 5: 26.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, henceforth for me is laid up a crown of righteousness" II Tim. 4: 7.

Psalm 90 tells us that our life is seventy or eighty years at best, a span of toil and troubles soon over, and we flit away.

When a Young Person Dies

"Be not afraid, only believe . . . The damsel is not dead, but asleep" Mark 5: 39, 36. "The days of his youth hast thou shortened" Ps. 89: 45.

When a Child Dies

"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" Job 1: 21.

"And Jesus called a little child" Matt. 18: 2, "They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels" Mal. 3: 17.

"Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" Matt. 19: 14.

The death of a child is a tragic event. We feel this way about any death, but especially so when a young child is taken by a sudden sickness or accident. There is a sting about the death. To say to someone who has lost a child that God wants the child in heaven is not the kind of comfort that I would want. Christian faith doesn"t keep you from pain but it does help you come through it. There is always frustration in the death of a child or young person.

The question "Why?" is always asked. "Why, why?" And yet words do not help.

Job asked, "Shall we receive good at the hand of God? And shall we not receive evil?" After Job enjoyed the love of his children for so many years he had no sense of rebellion, no word of complaint. When misfortune came, he did not charge God foolishly. He accepted. And that is what we must do, ACCEPT.

You may wish to meditate on these verses:

Deut. 33:27Ps. 91:5Heb. 13:5
John 14:1-3II Cor. 12:9 Rev. 21:4
I Cor. 13:12John 14:27Ps. 4:8
Ps. 73:24Ps. 116:15I Cor. 15:55-57
Ps. 46:1Ps. 86:7Matt. 11:28
Ps. 23:4

The future is bright because God"s promises are bright. They brighten up the darkness like a lamp lights up a room at night. Like rainf all on parched ground, God"s Word falls upon our parched souls, leading us, invigorating us. strengthening us, encouraging us. It is indeed water to relieve spiritual thirst during the time of death.

Black Butterfly

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