We had a very dear sister, part of our church family die this past week. Everyone loved her. She seemed the picture of the perfect older Christian woman. Yet, with all of the prayers on her behalf, she still died.
When we are faced with death, especially the death of a loved one, someone dear to us, we often ask the questions, “Why did this person die?” or “Why did God not preserve their life?”
We struggle with questions that I believe are often beyond our ability to really understand, yet, God answers these questions through the prophet Isaiah for us. Listen to what God Says…
Isaiah 57:1-2, “Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” (NLT)
Did you catch what Isaiah said here? “No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.” Have you ever thought about death in that way? That God who knows all things, God who sees the future, knew it would be better, for them to be with him than with us! Now understand, I am not saying that God Killed them or that “God Called Them Home,” (which is the saying often heard). But don’t we as Christians believe that our God is all powerful? Don’t we believe that he could have stopped them from dying if he really wanted to? Yes, of course we do!
But can we believe also, that just possibly God knows more than we do? That his answer of “Yes” or “NO,” just might be because he can see the future and really does know what is best?
Yet, after understanding this concept, it’s still hard to let that one go. We grieve for their loss from our lives. That’s normal, that’s how it should be when one who touched your heart is separated from you. However, did you notice that Isaiah also said, “For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.”
How many of those who die are given rest from pain, sorrow, illness, disabilities and so many other things. Yes, sometimes “good people pass away and are gone before their time,” it seems to us. But we are not God! We don’t know everything about everything like he does.
After all, Jesus did say in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Maybe it’s time we look at death in a different way, God’s way!
Russ Lawson, Messages From The Heart