Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
It was December 15, 2010 when my mother passed away and went to be with the Lord, a day I’ll never forget. She was my best friend whom I loved dearly. I can remember times in my youth when the mere thought of her death would bring me to tears brought forth from despair. I was convinced that if she died, I had to be buried right there next to her. I would become overwhelmed with the thought of losing her, my best and closest friend, someone I trusted deeply. As I grew older and more mature in my faith, God prepared me by teaching me more about the meaning of life. I came to understand that we all will die one day, but until that day that He calls us home, life goes on.
Still, even with that understanding, that day was still very painful. Gone were the days when I could physically hug her and have her by my side, and that was hard to accept. I wept and I wept. Jesus experienced the same when his beloved friend, Lazarus, died. Even though He knew how He would raise him from the dead, He was still moved to tears by the death of His dear friend. All the knowledge I knew about life and death could not prepare me emotionally for my mother’s death. I knew that she had passed from this Earth to a better life with Jesus, I knew I would see her again because I believed the promise of God, but her absence from my presence still caused me pain.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NASB)
Even if we somehow knew when a loved one would die, if we could count it down to the second, the pain of death would still exist. There will always be pain when that time comes, and the only thing to do is go through the grieving process and trust in the Lord through it all. As believers in the Lord, our grieving is with hope, hope in the promise of the Return of Jesus to call us home with Him. Because we know this much:
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27 ESV)
The main point here is not about being ready when someone else dies but being ready when our time come to die. No matter who we are or what our status is, we cannot cheat death. There is hope in that we don’t have to fear death if we are ready. Eternal life is not to be a guessing game. God paid so much to secure our eternal salvation through the death of His Only Son Jesus Christ. John wrote:
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13 ESV)
Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13 NASB)
Have you placed your faith in Jesus? Do you know that you have eternal life?
If the answer is Yes then you can respond with this:
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:55-58 NASB)
If your answer is no, then maybe now the Lord is speaking to you:
“Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15a NASB)
Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:19 NASB)
if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; (Romans 10:9 NASB)
Are you ready?