This week and month have been really tumultuous and trying for many of my friends. We have seen and experienced gruesome things, sorrow and the loss of loved ones in our presence. For me personally all these occurrences have served as a reminder, that there is always life and death, every single day. In beautiful and tragic ways. So many of these events are wake up calls, rather than the full on disasters that they could be.
When my grandmother died a couple years ago now, I read a scripture at her funeral and afterwards people with an element of surprise in their tone said "You read that with so much conviction." As if it were foolish to believe.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In the presence of death I am constantly reminded of the beauty of Jesus. Of the beauty of a death of sacrifice, of our savior's death for us, and the many ways we die daily- or should be dying daily, to be more fully alive, holy and set apart. Whether that is to addiction or self-absorption, pride, anger, passive-aggressive habits, this kind of redeeming work that the holy spirit does in us is a beautiful thing.
The physical death of others is also a constant reminder of the ever present choice of life or death. We choose to daily whether to live or die, because a life without God is not living. Separation from God is one of the most painful things that a person can endure, and yet we anesthetize ourselves with creature comforts and pursuits until we are numb to reality.
While we yearn for their company and sense their absence, this is why the physical death of a saved person, someone who not only knows about Jesus but has clung to Him with everything that they have, is so moving. It is a "Rumble Strip" wake up call to prioritize, and to be aware of the reality of the world around us, a call to drop pretenses and prioritize what matters, to be about our Father's business.