pc-usa 2003-02-21 - Death = Life

God's Paradoxes, Part 4

Romans 6:4 (NASB) Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

One of the deepest pains we can ever know, is to lose a loved one to death. Some Christians have the idea that to be deeply sad is to be a "bad Christian," but that is simply bad theology. Jesus Himself grieved, and God's own word encourages the expression of heart-wrenching grief, such as in the Psalms. We have the assurance that when someone knows Christ as Savior, physical death here on Earth is not the end at all. In fact, it is the beginning of a new phase of life, with a perfect God, in a perfect world.

There are other "deaths" that we experience every day, and God can bring new life out of every single one of them. But rarely do we see that new life right away. It sometimes takes years, but it will happen, if we will turn it over to God.

The death of a career through a layoff can open the door to the new life of something even more fulfilling, which God is calling us to do. Layoffs can be devastating-emotionally and financially. Some people feel they have lost their purpose. But many people have found that their second career is even more rewarding than their first one.

The death of a relationship can open our hearts and lives to an even better relationship. At the time, the pain can be so deep that it is a literal physical pain. How many times have you seen this happen? A young woman feels her life is over, because a boyfriend has left her. But later, after meeting the man who becomes her husband, she thanks God for that breakup, though at the time it seemed like "the end of the world."

The death of a dream can provide fertile ground for God to plant the seeds for a new dream. The death of a dream can sap us of hope, but God always has something even better ahead of us, and we shouldn't lose sight of that.

Think about the "deaths" in your life. No matter what has "died" in your life, God can redeem it and bring beautiful, fresh life out of it.