Ecclesiastes 7:2 "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart."
"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven- a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance." Solomon wrote these wise words and exhorted us to take them to heart. Not many of us spend too much time thinking about death. It's a subject that we would like to avoid.
This month four young women whom I was acquainted with passed on to their eternal life. Each one of these women were married, had children, and a vibrant ministry. Two of them served overseas. Spent their lives in sacrifice to those who had never heard the name of Jesus Christ. Two of them had ministries here at home in their churches, & in their communities. Three of them died of cancer. (Yes, that dreaded word.) One of them slipped away in minutes due to a tragic accident. Their lives were all beautiful testimonies. Each unique. Each giving a part of them to us. They left behind so much. Yet, it was the beginning of forever for them!
Jesus was REAL in their lives. Without a relationship with Jesus Christ, these women would not have the hope of eternal life. These women lived their lives to the fullest in the midst of the hard. "The work of grace in the midst of life's hard means embracing life in all its beautiful, messy glory & loving God all the more for it." YES! In the midst of life's hard. Every day was not easy as they battled the reality of death. Not wanting to let go and leave. Brave words were spoken, and whispers of love to each their children.
I am reminded of Paul's words in Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." If we truly believed that we would be living every moment for Christ. Yet, so often we miss those moments...get caught up in the earthly. It's times like these, that we need to ponder more about God's plans for us, including the REAL HARD TIMES. Suffering is part of our lives. It's part of the beautiful gift of living. It points us to a deeper relationship, forces us to take hold of the ETERNAL." Sometimes the most painful chapters of our lives —- are the most meaningful chapters of our lives."
Can we live more boldly? Embracing the hard knowing it's but for a moment in light of eternity? Can we make more of our days? Counting the cost? Could we be reminded of the great sacrifice that Christ's death accomplished for us? Death...to give us life!
The days were filled with sunshine,
The cloudless skies were blue; The weather seemed so perfect,
no sign of rain in view.
But then I looked around me, And all was desert sand;
The earth was parched and arid, A dry and worthless land.
If life had only sunshine,
No stormy days or rain;
If everything were perfect, No struggles and no pain;
It soon would be a desert.
So let us not complain; The hard things make us stronger,
And growth comes with the rain.