This past week has been one of facing the frailty of life. I have not been able to get it out of my mind. The massacre in Orlando left us all feeling alarmed about how quickly life can be snuffed out. Orlando was hit hard by this tragedy along with the deaths of Christina Grimmie, the young singer from the Voice, and Lane Graves, the toddler taken by the alligator.
My daughter, Megan, turned 30 last week, and I’ve had to watch her deal with too many deaths of friends in her young life. The Pulse massacre hit too close to home for her. She and her husband lived a block away from Pulse at one time, and it was difficult for them to watch the news in their old neighborhood. They were very familiar with Pulse and visited occasionally.
The day after Megan’s birthday, she and Ben headed out on a road trip to New York. On their way to their first stop in Savannah, they witnessed an accident and stopped to help. Ben pulled a woman out of her car that had flipped numerous times, but she was already dead. It was a traumatic experience for him. And then just yesterday, they learned of the death of one of their co-workers who was killed in a car accident. I pray for peace and wisdom for them to handle all this death around them.
Death causes us to look life in the face and realize how precious it is. Because our time is so valuable, death should make us see that it’s not worth spending our life stressing over the little things. Death should cause us to see the good in our spouse, our friends, our family, when we view the pain of grief in others and realize how lost we would be without those we love. It may cause us to make some overdue changes or maybe slow down a bit to appreciate time and family much more than we do. No one has ever said, on their death bed, “I should have spent more time in the office.” Make family time a priority.
It’s difficult for us to accept death when we lose those closest to us. We get so attached to one another, especially our families. In God’s eyes, though, this life on Earth is temporary. James 4:14 tells us, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” Our home is with God. We have eternity to spend in Heaven with those who have gone before us and those who will come after us.
That promise doesn’t make death any easier for us, though. There is some comfort in knowing our loved ones have gone to a better place, but we still miss their presence in our life. That grief is a horrendous process to experience, but it is a reality of life.
I thank God for His promise of heaven. It’s what gets me through this life, knowing what we have to look forward to. We will have to deal with death, though, until we face it ourselves. It is God’s way of reminding us that we need to stay focused on Him. We need to keep our priorities in order. We need to appreciate every day we have and live life reaching out to others, not just feeding our selfish desires.
Do you know that promise of heaven? If you are not sure, I encourage you to pursue it. Talk to someone or just go to God and ask Him. He will show you the way. Don’t wait. We are not promised tomorrow.