Friday, August 27, 2021

When Death Becomes a Gain

    




    Exactly a month ago, I was in the middle of work while blasting my usual afternoon playlist when I received a devastating message  -  one of my childhood friends died of COVID-19. I found myself speechless for several hours trying to process how he could be gone just like that - no warnings, no goodbyes.

   My friend and I live a few steps away from each other and the thought of going home and not being able to see him around made way for the pain to slowly creep in. I do not know how long I cried that night but all I know is that the next day was much harder. I was trying to remember the last time I saw him, the last time we talked, the last days that I had the chance to reach out but didn't. Sadness blended with regret was emotional torture. I prayed to God to have something to be able to do for him but I know very well that it was too late. When death knocked, it stole away my chances. 

    This recent heartache has reminded me of one of the hard truths of life: tomorrow is never promised to us and neither to the people that we love. Our life on earth is like a morning mist. We appear for a time and then vanish. (James 4:14)

    Days after I received the horrible news, new death cases of the virus have flooded in my timeline. Friends were changing their profile pictures to black and people were sending their condolences in the comments. I could not imagine how it must've been so hard for the families to grieve while being isolated in their homes, not being able to hug and share the pain of losing a loved one together. 

    As for me, it made me reflect for a moment how it would be if God chooses to take away my life tomorrow...or even today. Would the things that I have been doing right now matter after I die?  


"So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

    This prayer of Moses is a resounding thought to me each time I am reminded of my own mortality. A heart of wisdom. Oh, how I pray that I would spend each day of my life with wisdom. 

    Being in the early twenties, a huge part of my time and thoughts revolved around building a career, excelling at something, etc. Then the pandemic happened and somehow it overshadowed every other concern in my life that all I could think about is survival. God has definitely shown me how the things that I have been putting my energy and time on can easily be taken away from me. I am, in no way, saying that working hard for a good future is evil and that aiming for a dream is unnecessary. What I am trying to point out is that there is a tendency for me to put my heart and security on things that are superficial and fleeting which is not living wisely at all. 

 Wisdom, as the Bible says, begins when we fear the Lord(Proverbs 1:7).  

    This is a hard pill to swallow but God has not created you and me for ourselves. He has created mankind for His glory - to worship Him and serve Him with joy. If we fear God, we are to abide by His rules, laws, and will.  This Holy God demands obedience and punishes those who would rebel against Him. What we need to understand is that God takes our disobedience seriously and punishes our sins justly. I would be downgrading the truth if I say that God does not send people to hell because He does and He has every right to do so. He made all of us after all. 

    What makes it trembling and painful for us is that none of us could live up to His standards because all of us sin against Him. This is much even terrible news to hear, right? But hear this, God is a holy and just God yet He is also loving and merciful. He showed His mercy by sending Jesus Christ to bear the punishment of ALL OUR SINS. Christ lived a life in perfect obedience to God's law (which no one ever did) yet He died on the cross (the death that you and I deserved) so that we can be forgiven. He satisfied the wrath of the Father against all of humanity's rebellion. And now, those who would believe in Christ's sacrifice on the cross and repent from their sins can enjoy eternity with the Father. 

    To put it simply, there is a greater virus called sin which causes a greater threat to us than physical death and that is the eternal damnation of our souls and being separated from our Creator forever. But the Gospel gives us Hope in which to Christ we can cling for salvation, refuge, and redemption. He will be our righteousness and hideaway.

    Now this truth should not only cause us to be cautious but should also give us hope. It should encourage us to live and grow under the grace of the Lord. Wherever He has placed us and whichever season we are at, we are to glorify His Name by living in obedience to His Word - a lifestyle that strives to reflect the very character of our Savior. 

Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24

To gain a heart of wisdom is to be united in the Wisdom personified. To be secure in Him in life and death, and to live in His ways in all our days.

     Death may come inevitably but if we are in Christ, our physical death is not a loss anymore but rather a gain - eternal life with Jesus. May this be our prayer daily - to obey God until the day that Christ comes back or until He calls us home. 

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