Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On Death

So much heartache.

I only know a tiny piece of her story.  I wasn't an avid reader of her blog.  But I can't help but feel the weight of the death of Kara Tippetts.  I know she was given the task of walking with her family through a terminal brain cancer diagnosis, and I can't even imagine.  I know she did her best to point to God and His love, and she is a beautiful picture of the lost art of dying well.  And so we should rejoice at the thought of her living forever, pain free, with Jesus.

Because we know she believed and lived as a child of God.  She was secure in her eternity because of her faith.  She gets to LIVE FOREVER. And live forever in a place that is not riddled with the horrors of this world.  We should rejoice!

But I cry instead.

Why does death sting so bad?  I know why it does for those who choose to live apart from Jesus.  Their eternity is a worse place than this one, and that's saying something.  They should be scared.  But I shouldn't be.  And I'm not scared of death, but I definitely am not looking forward to it.

Even saying that makes me feel so disloyal to my Lord.  I love Him, and I can't wait to just be with Him forever.  But on the other hand, I very much can wait.  So do I love my life on this broken planet more than I love Him?  Is that what that means?  Because I'm ashamed at that thought.  I'm ashamed that it's not so much that I don't want to go, it's that I don't want to leave.  The thought of the sorrow that I would leave behind if I were to die, the sorrow of my girls and my husband, the amount of work it would take for my family to make life liveable again, is unbearable.  Even with knowing the joy I will experience on the other side.

I try to remember this, though.  I would cite the article if I could remember where I read it, but it was about those Christians in Egypt (yes?) who were publicly beheaded by ISIS recently.  Articles have popped up about how peaceful they were during that incident, singing and praising the Lord as they faced that horror.  And the author of the article said something along the lines of, "Don't worry about whether or not you could face martyrdom with that kind of joy and grace, because you could."  I think he meant that that kind of joy and grace is a very specific joy and grace given by the Lord for that very moment, and while we don't have it now, we don't need it now.  If we need it then, it will be given then.  I think Kara experience that same kind of joy and peace and grace, even in the midst of her sorrow at knowing her time was ending.

I had a dream a week or so ago.  In the dream I was on a table, about to be executed for my faith by lethal injection.  But the injection kept going wrong, like it just wasn't working.  And I was upset.  I knew my family would be sad, but I was so excited at seeing Jesus that I just kept thinking, Come on!!!  Work already!!  It was a weird, morbid dream, but I can't get it out of my head.  And I feel like so much death is happening around me that the dream keeps coming back to the forefront.

I have no conclusions.  Just a heaviness of heart and a lump in my throat.  I want to live and be ready and excited to spend eternity with Jesus and protect my girls from this level of sorrow.  But I'm afraid that is an order that is too big to fill.

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