It is hard to imagine such a thing as joy while in the valley of the shadow of death.
The finality of death is like the weighted hum of silence after a rousing round of applause… the disorienting ringing sound after an explosion… the eerie feeling of being pulled down by crushing waves, into the belly of the ocean.
Death is an unfortunate part of the human experience. The close of a book that leaves the ones left behind reeling. No one is ever ready to say goodbye, but worse if that opportunity is not given…
…and so we saw a nation, the world really, grieving the loss of someone I would call a legend. It wasn’t basketball itself that made him so, it was the excellence he exuded. He was every bit a faithful steward of what God gave him, and that mindset made him in my opinion, an iconic staple. That’s the #mambamentality.
This loss is in many ways humbling. A harsh reminder of our mortality. Even more jarring, the thought that we have no control over time. Job said “a man’s days are numbered” |Job 14:5|, and David prayed, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is” |Psalm 39:4|. It matters what we do with our time, and it matters how we live our lives.
My heart hurts for all the families affected by this tragedy. I’m also thinking about ‘everyday’ people that have loved and lost. My day was pretty topsy turvy after the news hit. So I can’t imagine what it was like, and what it will be like for the families going forward. But I remember the story of Lazarus, and how the bible says that Jesus wept |John 11:35|. The amplified version adds that He was moved to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death. Jesus had a human experience. He felt, and he wept.
Jesus cared then, and he cares now. This is why the Bible tells us that He is near to the broken-hearted, and he saves those who are crushed in spirit |Psalm 34:18|.
Here is the crazy thing about death, life continues.
The hands of time keeps moving, ticking for those still breathing…
…and I am reminded yet again that life without God is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Sidebar: as christians, we are not called to live for ourselves. When we say we will pray for another, we need to take it seriously, and do it, because there is power in prayer especially when done in agreement. That’s what it means to be Christlike.
As believers, this is our confident hope; Jesus. He defeated death, and so to God, death is sleep, a transition from the earth, to glory; away from the body, home with the Lord. Oh! How I look forward to the day He wipes away every tear from our eyes, and there is no longer death or sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain |Rev. 21:4|.
But until then, cheers to being light ‘n’ salt; living in Christ, and doing life by His spirit.
With the goal of leaving this earth empty, I live to hear my Father say, “well done good and faithful servant” |Mat. 25:23|.
Heavenly Father, thank you for this new day. I come to you with a heavy heart, grieving alongside anybody that has or is experiencing loss. It’s a lot to carry alone, have mercy Lord. Comfort them, heal them, and make them whole again. Give them the strength to endure, the grace to be available, and the patience to be present for those in their care. You never planned for death to be a part of the human experience, but here we are. I am so grateful for Jesus, who is resurrection and life; because of him, there is hope, and there is more life to live beyond this earth. Fill them up with hope, even as they cling to you. Nothing about this makes sense Lord, but I know that your presence brings calm to our storms. It gives me peace to know that you are right there with them, and I am declaring for them that they will know joy again, because your word says that joy comes in the morning. All this I ask in Jesus name. Amen.