Mother's eyes closed and her thin arms went limp in death and I wept.
After 101 years, her frail little body couldn't go on struggling to live. It was a blessing to know that she was with the Lord and happy, but she had filled a place in the family that no one could replace. I realized then how much I hated death and the sorrow it leaves in its wake.
A minister at a funeral explained that dying is much like the birth process. The unborn baby is comfortable and has everything he or she needs. When the time is right to be born, it is a difficult and traumatic process for the baby to leave the comfort of the womb and be thrust into another life. If the baby knew and understood how much better it would be for him when he arrived in his new life, he would be eager to come. So it is when we die. We hold on dearly to this life, but it is just the "womb" preparing us for the life to come. Even though we hate death and the resulting sadness of families and friends, this concept gives a fresh view of our lives and the process of dying.
The Bible tells us that God shapes us by various means and experiences.
As Christians, we strive to walk according to God's Word, but sometimes we fail and may deliberately rebel and make destructive choices. Regardless, the Lord can use whatever happens in our lives to help us grow into mature Christians when we bring it to Him.
"We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28, NKJV). How the Lord proceeds to fulfill this promise may take a form we may not expect or recognize. The benefit may be just the discipline learned and patience gained, which shapes us into the men and women He wants us to be. This priceless process is one of His ways to prepare us for the final journey home to heaven.
When we are touched by the death of a loved one, we often gain a new appreciation for life.
Our society puts number one first. "Climb the ladder of success," it says, "and grab everything you can." How tragic to use these precious moments of life only for our own benefit.
As we age, we have a clearer insight into the value of using our time to glorify God. Certainly the Lord means for us to supply the needs of our families and ourselves and tend to our daily tasks. He also knows we need times of refreshing by rest and relaxation to enjoy the blessings that He has given us. These times produce rich memories. Glorifying God doesn't mean giving up on living; but rather, being conscious of the Holy Spirit's leading in how to spend our time and resources. It is human and easy to indulge ourselves with overspending, foolish entertainment, and wasting time.
Each life is precious in the sight of God.
Spending the moments of our lives on foolishness is much like squandering our money and then ending up with nothing in a savings account.
Only what we do for the Lord will last forever. Therefore, let us ask the Lord to help us treat our lives, and the time He has given us, as we would care for a priceless treasure. Once it's gone, it can't be restored.