Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DEATH ADVANTAGES

I spent the day yesterday ministering in one of the toughest settings in all my years. Eighteen year old Kelley Milsap was laid to rest. He did not survive his car’s impact in a construction zone. Each of us experiencing yesterday is drained. My mind is a blur.

Death, as ugly as its intent, can be used to fuel our Christian ministry. I point you to reasons why:
  • IT AWAKENS US TO WHAT MATTERS
    Whether one missed a putt on the tenth green is now of no concern. An outside faucet dripping does mean it needs attention, but it doesn’t require our fretting. Someone not speaking to us does not constitute a pity party. A trip to the dentist is not the end of the world.
  • IT AWAKENS US TO WHAT WE REALLY BELIEVE
    Death separates our wheat doctrine from our chaff doctrine. A lot of stuff we divide over, we don’t really believe ourselves. Our pride sucks us into taking a stance which caves at death’s door. Our true love for others gets the opportunity to break open as our fake belief system has been shattered by death’s ram.
  • IT AWAKENS US TO THE NEED FOR GOD
    The most draining aspect for me personally in the setting like yesterday is that God has ridden in the back seat for so many. He has not been in the remotest parts of so many good hearts. Whether saying so publicly, I believe each soul weighs the deep ponderings of the truth of the Living God.
  • IT AWAKENS US TO REMEMBER TO LIVE
    Until death whips some back into focus, mankind is forever missing its own life. Some feel they will live when they become ten pounds lighter, $2000 richer, or could look five years younger. Now seems to be wasted for what could be. What could be is seldom now. Death motivates inventory of present blessings.

    What would you add to the list?

6 comments:

Marcy M. said...

It awakens us to the realization that God is ok with us being angry for a while, because He made us and our human emotions. Perhaps it doesn't offend Him when we lay blame or ask "why". He waits patiently until this anger passes, reminding us as always that even our doubts are covered by His mercy.

Greg said...

I think in many cases death reminds us of the value of relationships and the need to invest in them, which could be covered by your first point.

Zac said...

And let it motivate us to keep that perspective for as long as possible. Our prayer should be to keep those thoughts in our mind at all times so we don't need a tragedy to get us in the proper mindset.

Anonymous said...

Death reminds me of a very fine wine. I DON'T DRINK AT ALL B/C OF DEATH TO A DEGREE BUT MORE SO B/C OF MY WALK AS A CHRISTIAN SO WHAT DO I MEAN;
I think I mean that wine is supposed to get better with age and I truly believe that death becomes more acceptable with age. The memory of the loss still stings but the memory becomes one of remembering the person's best attributes that they put into your life not the pain that was so difficult to bear early on.

1 Corinthians 15:54b and ff
"(K)DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.

55"(L)O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?"

56The sting of (M)death is sin, and (N)the power of sin is the law;

57but (O)thanks be to God, who gives us the (P)victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58(Q)Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in (R)the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

I consider these verses to be comforting b/c of the fact that we can read that DEATH is swallowed up in VICTORY and for most of us we know actually where our loved one is and that too is comforting. When we partake of the grape juice during our weekly communion we are to remember what Jesus did for us on the Cross, we shall not cling to His death but we should consider the life He has given us b/c of what He did and the same goes when we lose a loved one while on this earth. Terry, thank you for being so candid, sharing what hurts as well as sharing what feels good. God Bless you, your family, and your ministry, Jim C.

4:18 said...

1 peter 1:9! read the verse my entire life and it took death to open my eyes to the words.

receiving the goal of our faith!

Lita said...

I've been absent from your blog fan club for the past several days and was catching up this evening. How great God's timing is...as today we are mourning the sudden death of Neal's 49 yr. old cousin (brain aneurism). Thank you again Terry, for being God's instrument.