Friday, February 21, 2014

Death is a Reminder

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG)

Death is a Reminder
Suddenly she was gone. We'd known for months this was coming. The cancer was slowly eating away her life. Every day for weeks the doctor had warned us that she could die at any moment. And though she was unconscious, she lingered ... lingered beyond all expectations. The days went by so slowly as we sat with her wondering if today would be the day. And then, suddenly, my mother was gone—one final breath and her new life had begun.

I thought I was prepared, yet, no one is quite prepared for a moment like that, the overwhelming sense of loss. We had been so close. The separation was like a tearing of my very soul, yet, in the next second, I experienced peace. Only God's Spirit could provide that kind of comfort. And there was the awareness that her suffering had ended and she was beginning a new life with her Savior free of hardships and tears. A world where we will one day be together again.

Death serves as a reminder that our lives here are temporary. We live as if there is nothing else, consumed by the preoccupations of living. Caught up with obtaining, attaining, and maintaining, there is no energy left to pursue the spiritual qualities and commitments which last an eternity. We become insulated from the needs of others, wasting our lives on the trivial. We fail to show others His love and withhold from them the hope that is theirs in Christ. We will one day be held accountable for our selfish preoccupations—all because our minds are centered on our short existence here. Yet each second we are a breath away from eternity.

Each life represents a piece of God's eternal puzzle. We look at our lives and see the irregularities, the sharp edges, and the gouges. With no defined pattern on the puzzle piece of our lives, we fail to see how this piece is essential to the completion of God's entire puzzle. The indistinct colors run together representing all we have gone through—not very pretty and, certainly, not understandable—yet one day God will unveil the whole puzzle and we will see that His plan is indeed perfect. In the hands of the Expert our piece fits perfectly in place. Fulfilling its function, it adds to the finished beauty of the whole. But only in the hands of the Expert.

As we handle our life, our puzzle piece, we turn it every which way trying to determine how it fits into His plans, but that's not our job. He determines the experiences necessary to create our piece. We must only allow the Divine puzzle maker to fashion us according to His design and purpose.

One day when we breathe our last and our life with Him begins, we will view the beauty of His divine puzzle. Each piece, each life, perfectly formed and placed within the whole.

Death is a reminder. Carol Penhorwood

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