The Things We Fear Day 2 – Sickness and Death
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:2-3, ESV)
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22, ESV)
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26, ESV)
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4, ESV)
I’m going to be honest with you: I feel totally unequipped to write about this topic. Sickness and death are challenging subjects because there is no blueprint for them. They are both so unpredictable and difficult that it’s hard to really know what to say. This is exactly why we all fear them so much. There is so much we don’t know or understand about it all, especially death. What I do know is what Scripture tells me about who my God is and what He does for all of us, and that alone is what I can apply to this topic.
Pain management. With illness comes pain, and dealing with that pain can be overwhelming and exhausting. I am reminded often of my great aunt Jesse and how she handled illness. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, which caused her incredible pain and discomfort until the day the Lord called her home. However, you wouldn’t catch her moping about it. She was very active both physically and mentally until the end. She never let the physical or emotional pain she suffered keep her from living. She played games, kept up with friends, and even helped manage activities at her nursing home. I was always impressed by her positive attitude and refusal to give in to her illness. She kept living for Christ despite the pain. Her true comfort was in Christ and Christ alone. I can only imagine how difficult it was for her to do this, but I am certain that it was all possible through the strength Christ gave her.
I think our greatest fear regarding death is the uncertainty surrounding it. When will it happen? What does it feel like? Will it hurt? Will I be afraid? So many questions, and yet we will not have the answers until it is time for us to take our final breath. But what can we be certain of when it comes to dying? God will still be with us even then. Just as He is with us in our pain and suffering in life, He will be with us in our last moments on earth. Even as the light fades from our eyes we will still feel His comforting hand.
What else is certain? We know what lies beyond the veil of this life. We may not have the exact details, but what we do know is that, because of Christ’s sacrifice, when we leave this world we will enter our final rest in heaven. If you are reading this and you do not have this hope of eternal life in heaven, please stop and consider the truth of the gospel. We are all sinners deserving of punishment, and yet God sent His only Son to take the punishment for our sins on the cross. When we put our faith in His finished work, we can know that we will have a home in heaven with Him. What a beautiful truth this is in the face of death. We do not have to fear the end of this life because we know that the next will be filled with joy and happiness for all eternity. There will be no more pain, heartache, or tears—just God’s love and light forever.
My challenge to you today is to consider your current situation. If you are healthy and whole right now, be thankful for that and rejoice in the Lord’s goodness. If you are sick or facing death, take hope in the comforting hand of God. Let us all take a moment today to pray for those we know who are sick. Pray for their healing and for comfort for them in their pain. Remember that God does not forsake us in our suffering but draws near to the brokenhearted.