Saturday, March 12, 2016

To Be Continued

by Tim Howard

The older I get the more I think about death! It’s not a subject I dwell upon but it does cross my mind from time to time – since I am closer to death than birth. 
When I was a senior in High School – my mother became ill and none of us were prepared for her death. That was a difficult season for the whole family and especially hard for a teenager like myself.  Even though the doctors did everything within their power – she succumbed to the battle of cancer. Gwendolyn Howard died in the year of 1969 at the age of 52 years.

If you have ever had a close friend or family member ‘pass on’ then you know the myriad of emotions that make you feel like you’re on a rollercoaster.  At times you may experience deep pain because of the loss and shed many tears. A feeling of disbelief and denial may overcome you because it seems so surreal and then out of nowhere, a sense of great joy arises because you realize how special that person has been to you. 

Emotions are powerful and very real. Even Jesus wept when His good friend Lazarus died. Something emotionally stirred within Him that revealed how much He loved this man.

Death even goes beyond the physical – It signifies the end of a season!  

It happens whenever something comes to a conclusion. When your marriage ends in divorce, when your vocation or occupation comes to a screeching halt or when a child leaves home to begin a new season apart from the parents! When things like this happen – fear can set in and if allowed to grow unchecked, life becomes a struggle; ‘letting go’ becomes very difficult and a blindness to truth can ensue.

Experiences like this can be so emotionally packed that a person may lose sight of the fact – there is life after death! From Christ’s perspective – The end is not the end… It is the beginning of a new season.

Maybe that’s why Jesus said in John 14:1-3, “Don’t be troubled (afraid).  You trust God – now trust in me.  There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you.  If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” 

Simply stated: If you are connected to Jesus in an ongoing relationship – you don’t need to be troubled or ruled by fear when death – of any kind – knocks on your door. Why? Because it’s not ‘The End’ – It is: ‘To Be Continued’…

Jesus has prepared a good future for all those who love Him. The future is not unknown – It is certain.  He has a plan for you and it is a good plan. Even when you fee like you’ve reached end of your rope in a relationship or possibly you’re involved in a dead-end career. Maybe voices keep telling you it’s over – But God has the final word! He says: TO BE CONTINUED…

The Bible talks about Eternal life. A life that doesn’t end – even at the point of physical death! When the words – at the end of a television program say: “to be continued…” one might experience frustration but for the Christian who experiences death in any form – those same words stimulate faith, confidence and hope.

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