Tuesday, October 18, 2016

O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

"O Death, where is thy sting?" - 1 Corinthians 15:55
My husband and I were talking about this verse the other day.  He was telling me that it's one of those Scriptures in which we see the "already, but not yet" as well as a taste of prophecy.  For those who fall asleep in the Lord, they can truly proclaim that death has no sting and hell has no victory.  But for those of us left behind, we feel the sting of death as our loved ones are physically separated from us in the world.

Tonight (10/17/16), my dad's sister, Yolanda, passed into eternity.  Only three weeks have passed since the death of my dad.  I have still been coming to terms with my earthly loss and yet here I am again faced with such a reality of a physical separation of a Tia that I have really grown to rely on in this past year.  She and my dad were very close and my own relationship with her had grown tremendously in the past several months.  She has been retired and I am a housewife balancing life with my husband in a new occupation that takes more of his time than that of his former work.  Although we were in very different points of our lives, we spoke frequently and even several times during the day.

During the past month, she has been such a huge support to me in the illness and passing of my dad.  Something amazing, however, took place.  This morning, she was on my mind.  We hadn't spoken over the weekend and I felt an urge to call her, just to say, "hi." I thought that I should wait until evening not realizing that it would be too late.  As sudden as my dad's death felt, hers was out of nowhere.  She was just here in town last week for my dad's services.  I just spoke to her a few days ago and everything was fine, but suddenly today, everything wasn't.

I wanted to talk with her about a conversation we had last week about death.  I shared with my Tia that my eldest daughter was asking about death.  "Why do people have to die?" was her exact question.  This has been a common question for many in my family over the past few weeks... and now even more so today.  I have seen many ask, "Why do good people have to die?"

This is what I told my daughter and recounted to my Tia: The problem is, we tend to see death from a worldly point of view.  We see earthly death as a punishment, when in fact, it is a mercy from God.  When Adam sinned and man fell, God could have left us in our misery eternally, but He didn't.  Death is a consequence of sin, but it is also a mercy in that we are eventually freed from our sins, corruption, disease, and sorrow--to be brought to life eternally.  Only the second death--that is: the judgement of the unbeliever--is something that we should feel such sorrow for.  When a person dies, their soul is temporarily separated from their flesh and goes into the presence of God (2 Cor. 5).  On the last day, at the return of Christ, we shall all be raised and our spirits and flesh will be reunited with one another--either for eternal glory or eternal death (1 Cor. 15, Rev. 20:14-15).

My dad and Tia were very alike in temperament, countenance, and sociability.  For the past three weeks I have seen her as a vicar of my dad... a piece left behind to continue to guide and counsel me.  Her sweet words and stories brought me joy and the depth of our conversations will be treasured forever in my heart.  May the Lord keep her and glorify her on that final day of judgement.

Alison Krauss singing "I'll Fly Away"

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Here are some other posts you may like:
Losing My Daddy
God is My Portion and Strength Forever
Dealing with Overwhelming Feelings

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