It seems to be widely observed that of late, sudden and unexpected deaths occur with terrifying frequency and even visited some of our brethren’s homes. Just this month of March or a matter of 3 weeks, we have ministered in several funeral/graveyard services in memory of our dear loved ones, brethren, and friends from Sis. Cristy Yabut, Nanay Lydia Fajarda, Bro. Edmond Cayos, Bro. Wilfredo Bayhon, Sis. Nenita Jumilla, and lately Nanay Lydia Antonio, the mother of Bro. Marco, who, by God’s sustaining grace, had undergone last Tuesday a successful triple heart bypass, and now still in the hospital, smoothly recovering in God’s intervening and replenishing grace, even after learning of the abrupt departure of his mom.
An inquiry into the physical causes of this observation would no doubt yield important and instructive results. But it is not for us, here and now, to engage in those researches, but rather turn to the Word of God for Doctrine, Consolation, and Admonition. Among others, we are to always recognize the truth and fact that God is sovereign, in control of the seasons of life, and “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Likewise as Romans 8:28 would assure us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Knowing God’s wisdom both in justice and love, sudden death is always timely, though we may not see it so. Our God who allows trials and crises, is the same God who also provides comfort. The Bible in II Corinthians 1:3b aptly refers to Him as “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.” The Bible says many wonderful things about the death of a Christian. II Corinthians 5:8 assures us, “We are confident, I say, an d willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Certainly, d eath for a Christian is a promotion to Glory, an infinitely better country based on Hebrews 11:16.
Moreover, the gains and blessings of “the dead which die in the Lord” as brought out in Revelation 14:13, includes rest, reward, and even reunion. The Bible is likewise replete with comforting words and thoug hts for those of u s who are living knowing that death is not all. Beyond this earthly life is a new home of joy and bliss where we will see our loved ones again. Our greatest comfort though comes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who says in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
In all these, my dear brethren, we are to be aware that we have but a short time on earth to do God’s will and plan. Let us then make good use of our time and opportunities. We are then to pray with the Psalmist in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Realizing that life is short helps us to use the little time we have more wisely and for eternal good. Let us take time to number our days by asking, “What do I want to see happen in my life before I die?” “What small step could I NOW take toward that purpose?”
All By God’s Grace and For God’s Glory!
Pastor Gerry Nable