It all started with reading Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych, followed by a close friend's serious cancer diagnosis. Then, there was the death of a former high school classmate.
Death has been on my mind a lot lately.
Actually, I think about dying at some point every day, not in a morbid way, but in an "Are you ready? Is there unfinished business? How do you want to be remembered?" way, which is constructive, to a point.
What's not constructive is allowing myself to be tortured by the fear of leaving my children and husband. As a believer, I must draw the line of rumination there. I can't give in to hand-wringing.
Henri Nouwen spoke about the unique relationship of a trapeze team. When the flyer lets go of his bar and hangs in mid-air for a split second, he has no security. He cannot see his catcher nor control the catcher's speed or method. But at just the right moment, the flyer's "savior" arrives and whisks him to the base.
Most of us believe death will be like that frightening moment of suspension. But 2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us, “We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord.”
In other words, we will not be left hanging for one moment because to let go here makes us present there.
*Sometimes when I sit down to write, I face the blank screen and feel uncertain and anxious—the term is “writer’s block.” After this sad, question-filled week, I’m comforted by the thought that although life is uncertain, it is not unwritten. That is to say, God is the author of life, and he has never suffered writer’s block. He is not uneasy about the future at all.
*That’s why Christians shouldn’t despair. Death is simply another part of each of our stories.
Paul says, "When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow. And when you sow it, it does not have the same body it will have later. What you sow is only a bare seed, maybe wheat or something else. But God gives it a body that he has planned for it" (Corinthians 15:35-38).
The key phrase is: "that he has planned for it." We who trust in Christ can know that as the story of our life unfolds, we are in His sight and in His thoughts, safe in the strong hands of our savior and "catcher" who has planned for us to be with Him forever. Nothing can pry us from his loving grip.
*section that was edited/partly omitted that I re-inserted here.