I’m not sure how old I was when my Great Grandma died. I just remember the grief of my family. I think that may have been my earliest memory of someone near me dying. Now that I’m older, I been near death many times. I still struggle with the reality of death. It seems so final in the context of my life hear on earth. When I learned that my son had cancer a few years ago, I was so broken and seized by fear of him dying. My stomach gets in knots just thinking about it now. As I walk through my journey with the Lord, I’ve had lots more conversations about death with Him because He will walk with me through whatever I face in life or in death.
Moses and Aaron had warned Pharaoh about letting the Israelite people go into the desert to worship. I’m pretty sure everyone involved knew that there was not a “return to Egypt” plan. When the nation of Israel left Egypt to worship, they would not be back. Pharaoh was resistant to 8 other plagues that were designed to show him the Power of the God of Israel. The Lord prepared Moses, Aaron and the nation of Israel for what was about to happen. I can’t put my head around what the Egyptians went through that night. Check this out…
29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. (Exodus 12:29-30 NIV)
It’s one thing for a neighbor or acquaintance to have a death in the family, but for every family in the country of Egypt to have a death of the firstborn son as well as the first born of their livestock. This was absolutely devastating to this country. I can’t wrap my head around what it would be like to loose one of my children to death. My heart grieves deeply for any parent who has had that experience.
I believe in God – the Creator of Life. I also believe Him when He speaks of eternal life – life after death on earth. I believe that His Word is true. I believe that when I die here on earth, I will awake in eternity with Him. He makes it clear that the pathway to eternal life is through the ultimate sacrifice of His Son. He knows something about death, but He has defeated it. I no longer need to be afraid of it. I have hope that there is life that is so much bigger and more significant that life here. My life here should look different because of my hope. I should no longer be paralyzed with fear of death, but live my life here to the fullest for the One Who gives me eternal life. Now I’m trying to make my days count for Him rather that be stressed out and count my days that I have left. I don’t mean to do that, but after I passed 50, I realized that I’m pretty sure I’m over half-way home. Death is not a plague, but it is the closing of one chapter and the transition to another. I plan to face death with the help of the Creator and Giver of Life.