The Lord Jesus said,”Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”1 For Christians, anxiety shows a lack of trust in God. Anxiety can also be very unhealthy and can destroy a person. So many, some say most, things people worry about never turn out the way the person worried it would anyway.
Yet, there is part of life that is unavoidable no matter how much worry is poured into it. No matter how filled with anxiety or how at peace one is there is the unavoidable end of life – death!
In the past five days, two expected deaths hit me unexpectedly. I lost both of my grandmothers. One died this past Thursday and had just turned 90 in January. The other died yesterday on Sunday and she would have turned 87 this year.
These deaths weighed heavy on me; heavier than I thought they would.
Both of my grandmothers were very ill and we knew their time was short. But when their time was finally up, and I received the phone calls from my parents, the weight of loss was heavy.
Thoughts about life and death filled my mind. Thoughts on the meaning of life and the purpose of life. Then come the thoughts of actually living and all of the stuff we go through only to come back to the inevitable – death.
The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, gave Christians words of comfort during times of death: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”2
Thinking about that verse feels heaviest right now. One of my grandmother’s embraced Joseph Smith as a prophet and a works-based hope up until the end – I think. The other I’m not sure at this point though she spent the last years of her life in a Christian home. Though it does not make this moment in time much easier, I shared the gospel with them several times.
However, I am around people everyday with whom I don’t share the gospel. Most contact with those people is just a passing by – a ride in the elevator. I have no idea if those I pass by have heard the good news or not. People die around us everyday that have not heard the gospel.
The truth is, life is passing by, but that does not mean we should bypass life. Even those passing moments can be filled with a smile and a simple “hello” or some encouraging words. Better yet, learn to encourage someone by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
To embrace life as a Christian warrants intentionality. That is, we are to do all things for the glory of God and this is done by seeking first the God’s Kingdom and renewing our minds daily.
The above thoughts are some that have floated around my mind since my grandmothers’ deaths. If the Lord grants me life for 90 years in this world what can I say I had done with it? What will I look back on?
I am thankful that I can say I did not fail to share the gospel with my grandmothers though there are plenty with whom I did not share. While I mourn the loss of my grandmothers my joy is not lost. The Lord has given me at least one more day to serve Him and I prayerfully strive to do so intentionally.
Jesus’ words come to mind when he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”3
And so I ask the Lord to help me to love you more each day. Help me to love my neighbor more each day. Help me be intentional in living out your two greatest commandments. Let me look back on my life and see it as one that glorifies you.
Finally, those are some thoughts on my the recent unexpected, expected deaths in my life. Thanks for reading my rambling.
For what it’s worth…