Thursday, June 15, 2017

Death Is A Miracle

Sometimes life royally sucks.  Today I had to tell my kids that one of their teachers passed away.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after my mom was and they both ended treatments right around the same time.  I spent quite a bit of time talking with this teacher about her cancer journey because it paralleled my mom's journey so much.  She was so hopeful and cheerful and kept on teaching all through chemo taking only one day a week off for chemo treatments--really, she was a saint in my mind for doing that.  She finished her last round of chemo right before Christmas break and came back to school full time in January.  Three months later she left school in the middle of the day after getting sick and she was never able to come back.

I just helped my kids through their sadness over their grandpa dying last week.  That was much easier for them because it made sense.  He was 96 and steadily declining.  He was ready and praying for heaven.  

This time it doesn't make sense.  Their teacher was young. She was full of life.  She did a cartwheel in the middle of class one day.  She was fun and wonderful and an excellent teacher.  She even managed to teach my son how to write papers and spell!  

I found myself getting angry.  All those kids in the school had been praying for her all school year.  They expected her to get better and to come back in the fall ready to teacher again.  Their faith was strong that she would be healed.  And then she wasn't.  Why didn't God answer all those prayers?

Where was her miracle???

And I felt like God said to me that Death is a miracle.  We pray for miracles all the time.  For people to be healed, relationships restored, money to be provided, etc.  But all of these things are temporal miracles.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  But in death, a Christian is brought to new life with Christ in heaven.  Bodies are restored to perfection.  The broken relationship between God and man is fully restored.  Temporal life is transformed into eternal life with God forever.  

No, this wasn't the miracle that we had all been praying for because we wanted her to stay here with us.  But God did answer our prayers.  He did miraculously restore her body to complete health.  He did make her hair grow back into its spunky blond waves.  He replaced her off-key singing voice with an angelically beautiful one (this was Lizzy's assessment).  She is no longer in pain.  No longer suffering.  No longer tired and broken and sick.  She is at the feet of Jesus singing, doing cartwheels and miraculously healed.

It still hurts the living.  Hearts are a bit broken right now in my house.  But we can rest assured that God is at work even in the midst of our grief and sorrow.  There is life after death.  And death in Christ is a miracle.

Now we do not want you to be uniformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life].  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [as in fact He did], even so God [in this same way--by raising them from the dead] will bring with Him those [believers] who have fallen asleep in Jesus.  
~1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

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