The boys and I went to the park the other day. I was watching my youngest toddle around on wood chips and climbing a playset much too large for him when I was suddenly, keenly aware of my mortality. Unrelated to anything I was doing. Every now and then my own mortality comes into reality and it is a strange, and honestly scary, place to be. Strange, but good. So quickly I was thrown into the depth and richness of a moment with my children and very aware of my inability to stop time, slow it down or get it back.
The next morning, I get a call from my dad, telling me that my Uncle, who battled cancer for eleven years, went to be with the Lord. Mortality. He took his final breath and suddenly, within the blink of an eye was given over to victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57. Just like that. Immortality. Amazing.
In Christ, death is such a beautiful thing. Yes, we grieve. Beth Moore said once that we are spiritually wired for eternity. That is one reason we struggle to reconcile goodbyes. We sign our letters Love Always, Forever Yours, etc. because we long for forever. The Good News is we are destined for eternity in Christ.
“Thou hast made us for Thyself O God, and the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” -Augustine
Death is our reality.
My Uncle Ronnie was an amazing man. He loved the Lord, was a Methodist minister, loved his wife, his children and grandchildren. He battled cancer. Battled. Fought to live, yet faced death with sufficient courage. Christ was exalted in his body by both life and by death. (Philippians 1:20) Ronnie trusted God through his sickness. He never gave up on the Gospel. He was a beautiful example of Paul’s heart when he wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21. Ronnie showed us how to live and how to die. His faith now sight. Glory.
Christ will be our reality.
I am hesitant to even say it, but I want to live with an underlying awareness of my own mortality. I want to remember to love deeper, hug often and stay longer. I want a present awareness of significance. Christ is significant. The Gospel is significant. My family is significant. Relationships are significant. All else will fade.
Death has been swallowed up in victory. For a believer, death has no sting. – 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of eternity. Thank you for lives, like Ronnie’s, that give us hope and challenge us to pursue You unto death. Thank you, Jesus, that you suffered the ugliest death…so that ours can be beautiful.