Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 18 Number 8 August 2016
Page 7

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

God’s Way for Us to Cope
with Loss, Sorrow and Grief, #13

Lessons Learned and
Observations Made – A Summary

Marilyn LaStrape

This series of articles on loss, sorrow, and grief was first taught in a ladies’ Bible class from January – September 2014. They were published consecutively on this site beginning in August 2015. Four of the twelve lessons were vital in order to address the eight personal, significant losses.

The eight remaining lessons addressed the faces of personal, significant losses.

It would not truly serve the purpose of this series of articles if our own death was not addressed. In her book, Let This Cup Pass, Jane McWhorter states:

Every time the clock ticks one more second, someone in this world dies. Planting in our minds at this time the seeds of what a Christian’s reaction should be will help us accept death with grace whenever it comes our way. Life is so fragile. A person can be in perfect health with everything in his favor and yet be dead within the next minute. God placed us here on this earth to give us an opportunity to prepare ourselves for eternity and take others with us. The question under consideration is not the duration of our lives but what we accomplish while we’re here. How much will we be missed? When we continue living in the hearts of those left behind, have we really passed out of existence? (149)

For a Christian, the ultimate in victory is not just to accept the deaths of the masses but also his own with dignity. Acceptance is not a giddy, light-hearted gaiety. It is not happiness in the usual sense of the word but is instead a victory over the dread of death. There is a vast difference in acceptance and resignation. The latter implies defeat, a hopeless giving up. Even though one accepts his death, there normally remains a faint shred of hope. When this hope is lost, death is usually imminent. (150)

A Christian, of all people, should know what he wants out of life and also how he will face death when the time comes. As we mature in the faith, we realize that we can never be good enough to merit our salvation. Usually it’s a fairly simple matter to predict how a child of God will react to death; he faces death in the same manner as he faces life. We can’t answer the call of death affirmatively unless we’ve also said yes to life. All that any of us can realistically hope for is today and we may not have all of that. Accept each new day for what it is – a gift from God. Use it wisely and then that night lay it back at God’s feet as your offering to Him. The acceptance of death is easier for any of us if we can only learn to live one day at a time. (151)

I am one of the more fortunate ones. In 1970 I stared death in the face for a number of weeks, and, according to medical expectations, I should have died. But I didn’t. I have no way of knowing how long it will be until I face the same situation again, but someday I will. I have walked far enough into that valley to know that I will never have to face any problem alone. I suppose we have to learn how to die before we can truly know how to live. (155)

Becoming better through adversity is a reoccurring theme throughout the Bible. The challenges in life make us bitter or they make us better. God always has a goal and a purpose for whatever He does and whatever He allows. He always does what is best for us when we leave the choice to Him. Our part is to persevere in submissive, trusting and strong faith!

The abiding, obedient faith of Christians gives them the strength to endure. The words of the Lord Jesus Christ keep their focus on that final unsurpassed reward – heaven. “And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:12-14).

Work Cited

McWhorter, Jane. Let This Cup Pass. Abilene: Quality Publications, 1978.

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