Why Death?

Why death?

That was the question posed by the preacher during the funeral service for a dear friend Pilot and I attended Saturday. A friend only twenty-one months older than me. A friend who left behind a husband, three children and their spouses, fifteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, a sister, brother, and countless friends and relatives to grieve. Linda will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

One of the first things the minister said was, “It is not unchristian to grieve.” He then directed us not to focus on what we feel – our great loss – but on what we know – God is real, and the Word of God is also real.

In answering his question, why death? the preacher said death is not normal. It isn’t God’s intended plan. Death entered our world at the same time sin did in the Garden of Eden.

None of this surprised God. Of course it didn’t. God already knew before he said, “Let there be…” as he spoke the universe into existence, Jesus would come to this fallen, broken, death-filled earth, die on the cross of Calvary, rise from the grave, and ascend to his throne in heaven. The perfect sacrifice. The perfect Savior. The perfect Victor.

Because of Christ’s victory over death, we too have victory over death when we place our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Preaching from 1 Corinthians 15, the minister said there is absolutely no contest. Jesus is the Victor. Jesus conquered death. Death was swallowed up. Our separation from loved ones who die is not permanent. The penalty of sin has been removed. The moment we open our eyes in God’s presence, no sin will ever come between us again.

He closed by reminding us to be steadfast to make Christ known.

Whether we have experienced the loss of a loved one or not, it is good to remember death does not have the final word. Jesus does. If we belong to him, we are welcomed with open arms into the glorious richness of heaven, where there is no more sorrow. No more sadness. No more tears. Amen?

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When this happens, then at last this Scripture will come true—“Death is swallowed up in victory.” O death, where then your victory? Where then your sting? For sin—the sting that causes death—will all be gone; and the law, which reveals our sins, will no longer be our judge. How we thank God for all of this! It is he who makes us victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So, my dear brothers, since future victory is sure, be strong and steady, always abounding in the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever wasted as it would be if there were no resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Death of a Friend

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

The death of a friend. Hard to process, yet process we must.

In October 2015 Debbie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Three days ago I attended her funeral. As with any cancer patient, Debbie’s journey had its ups and downs. But through all the challenges, I never once saw Debbie blame God, or lose hope. She was a fighter up to the end. She will be missed by so many who loved her.

At the beginning of November 2016 Debbie wrote this in her CaringBridge journal.

I contacted Clinical Trials to see if I might qualify for a study since my numbers have now come down with the work on the stent. I couldn’t get in the first week and they scheduled me for the following Friday afternoon. It’s so hard to be patient when you feel like you have a time bomb in you!!

The doctor said the study I came in for last month was already closed but he had been reviewing my records to see if I would qualify for a study that also was closed, but just that afternoon a person in the study no longer qualified after further tests, and this opening had to be filled this afternoon or they had to release the spot back. This is a nationwide study and they had 24 hours to fill the spot…but it was 3:00 in the afternoon on Friday and I was the only one that could be in their office to sign up by 5:00 Friday. God’s perfect timing!!!!  Unfortunately the CT scan done shows that my liver lesions have more than doubled in size and my pancreas is no longer dormant so time to get this trial started.

Do you hear the hope? Do you hear the praise? Do you hear the submission to God’s sovereignty?

coutesy pixabay

Four days later, this is what Debbie wrote.

I was accepted into the Clinical Trial!!!! I start treatment tomorrow November 11.

But things didn’t go as planned.

11/11 My liver enzymes were too high today to start treatment. Will try again Wednesday.

11/13 Started running fever Sunday and was admitted to MDAnderson.

11/16 I received a call from the Dr’s office this morning advising me they really didn’t need to see me today. My enzymes were low enough that I qualify for treatment. I am now scheduled for next Tuesday morning. What a Thanksgiving this will be. Thanks for your continued prayers.

11/19 I am so glad I have no doubt God’s timing is perfect. Easy to say when you look back, but hard when you look forward. My treatment has been rescheduled again to 12/2.

12/2 All hope of entering the treatment is gone. The cancer has spread to my liver.

12/16 Hospice has been called in. The doctor said it could be weeks to months.

Debbie accompanied her family to Christmas Eve service at our church and then celebrated the birth of the King together the next day.

December 27 hospice visited and increased her morphine.

Jesus ushered Debbie into heaven the evening of January 2, 2017.

courtesy pixabay

Over four years ago I wrote in a blog post we shouldn’t wait until it is too late to show someone we love them. I write the same thing now.

Don’t wait until it is too late to tell someone you love them.

I leave you with the song Debbie requested her daughter-in-law, Sara, sing at Debbie’s service.

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So this body that can be destroyed will clothe itself with that which can never be destroyed, and this body that dies will clothe itself with that which can never die. When this happens, this Scripture will be made true:

“Death is destroyed forever in victory.”
“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your pain?” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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