This past week we laid to rest the earthly remains of a much-loved Christian lady. In many ways it was a different service for it could only be attended by ten mourners due to the Covid-19 restrictions. And since the congregation or other friends could not attend, I will share a few thoughts about God’s sovereignty and the certainty of glory.
When someone is diagnosed with a terminal condition, it would be easy to start the blame game. When we allow that to happen, anger rises in our hearts and we start blaming God for not saving our loved one or we blame medical staff for not diagnosing correctly or even giving loved ones a false hope of recovery.
Now I don’t wish to play-down the disappointment of being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Life is sweet for most of us and while we are ‘fit and well’ we general enjoy life and the relationships we have with family and friends. However, should the Lord decide to call us home through some illness, it’s good to keep a few things in mind.
First, Scripture clearly tells us that all the days ordained for each one of us, Christian and non-Christian alike, are written in God’s book, and they will all come to pass (Psa 139:16). As Christians, we are especially privileged for this God in whom we live, move and have our being (Acts 17:28), is our loving Father in heaven and because of Christ has promised to love and hold us in His everlasting arms (John 10:28ff). So, all our days will surely come to pass, not one day less or one day more.
Second, we can give thanks for the blessing of skilled medical staff, but with respect, they are just mortal human beings who do not hold the key of life in their hands. Whatever the doctors or other medical staff have or have not done, also comes under the sovereignty of our heavenly Father. Nothing happens by chance (Mat 10:29-31). So, we rest and find peace in knowing that our loving father in heaven knows what He is doing.
Third, we shouldn’t act irresponsibly with the life God has given us, that would be foolish. Scripture warns us, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Deut 6:16). Therefore, let us be careful how we live and not abuse the body and life God has given us.
Fourth, let us no doubt our salvation. Scripture has many texts that assure us of eternal life in glory for all who live and die in the Lord. Matthew 6:25-34, John 3:36, 5:24; 11:25-26; Rom 8:1, 28-39, and many more passages.
Finally, this does not mean we cannot grieve. Sure, we do not grieve as people without hope and yes, the sting has been taken out of death. Yet, I still ‘hate’ death and the painful separation it causes. My only real and long-term comfort is God’s word which keeps reminding me, that my debt has been paid, my Saviour reigns, and that whoever believes in the Son, has eternal life. And so we look forward to the day when death will be no more! JZ.