Death Will Take Care of Itself
My grandfather slipped on a curb at the age of 27, cut his head and bled to death. Of course, the blood flows a little easier when you’re drunk. My cousin put herself and her two kids in the back of a car and attached a hose to the exhaust. A girl friend of mine in high school got into a car with a drunk driver, he rolled the car and she was thrown and crushed. A girl connected to our church youth group is struck down on the crosswalk in front of her school by a fellow student and a boy infatuated with her commits suicide as a result of the tragic loss. A friend of ours gets married and within the week her new husband is dead. My seminary professors lived an extraordinarily healthy lifestyle and yet was taken suddenly one night by a brain aneurysm while he slept by his wife’s side.
We all have death stories. I’ve attended more funerals than I can recall. Sickness, accident, suicide, murder. Death has many weapons; few are very creative.
I find it easy at times to become almost paralyzed by the seeming randomness of it all. I find it even more perplexing when I’m told that all these events are ordered by God as part of some mysterious master plan.
How do we live our lives fully and freely with this stench of death all around? How do we even take the most basic of risks? How do we invest ourselves in the lives of others?
This week, while watching TV, I heard this line: ‘death will take care of itself; it’s living that requires our attention.’ (100 points if you can name the show . . .)
What do you think?
Christ was obedient to death not so we wouldn’t have to suffer death (either as the ones dying or as the ones left behind) or that we would only die clean and quiet deaths. He died so that death would lose its sting and its victory. Christ both conquered death and redeemed death in that now it is only a benign tunnel – yes, heralded by pain – through which those in Christ go to be with him in paradise.
Saying ‘death wasn’t part of God’s plan’ is like saying ‘suffering isn’t part of my plan.’ Our expectations of a comfortable life – especially in the western world – are so pervasive, encompassing and deadly. There are billions in the world right now that would take a comfortable western life with a few brushes with death over their daily dance with death, demons and disease.
As a friend of mine says, ‘Our prosperity is our adversity.’
God assures us, ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).
Was it from the show “Lost”?