Defining Moment

“It is God’s will.”

I was at the funeral visitation and the older woman approached the relatives of the deceased with that message, “It is God’s will.”

Of course one can look at death that way.

In my opinion, that’s the short term view.

What will be the long-term view of the death of this person in the casket, the long-term effect of the loss on the lives of the ones left here on earth?

Gerald Sittser’s experience,  another illustration used by Pastor Idleman to make his point….. Gerald is a professor at Whitworth University who lived through a horrible automobile accident, an accident that took three generations of his family, his mother, his wife and his young daughter.  Can you imagine the woman coming to the caskets telling Gerald “It is God’s will.”

Gerald wrote a book about the loss of his three loved ones and he says in his book that the loss was not the one point in his live that defined his life.  He did not let it define him.  He will never forget this horrible thing that happened but he found a way through our Lord and Savior to move beyond that time in his life.  Instead of letting grief envelope him forever and anguish turn him away from God, he allowed his faith to take over.

Loss in life is a part of life.  It is not good to dwell on it on a daily basis, but the day will come when everyone loses someone they love.  How we respond to these events is what makes us the Christian that has the capacity to grow beyond the event itself, the Christian God wants us to be.   There is always more life to live and more work to do in the name of Jesus Christ.

The long view is that blessing and growth can spring from grief…if we do not let loss be our defining momentIf we don’t let grief be our lasting occupation…

2 Corinthians 7:10 [NIV]  “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

Question:  Have you seen people not handle loss well?  How did you feel about their Christian witness as you watched them struggle?  [no names please]

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2 Responses to Defining Moment

  1. LuAnn says:

    I struggled more with a young sudden death than an older person. But I too have used that event to make me a better Christian. I have seen others lose their elder spouse and hang on to it for years. I also saw my mother-in-law be strong and continue with a happy life knowing that her husband was healed and she would join him again.

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  2. The passing of younger people is harder by far for most of us, but Pastor Idleman included the Gerald Sittser example to illustrate that even the death of a younger person can be bearable if we allow God to heal us from the pain. As humans we feel the loss and that is only natural. We are human. The Holy Spiritual element that we possess is another matter. That’s what God can use to allow us to experience growth beyond the loss itself.

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