Today is my sister Michelle’s 32nd birthday. But she’s not here. She left her earthly life for an eternal one on February 19th.
In the past six months, many people have said, “Wow, that’s terrible? May I ask how she died? Was she ill? Did she have an accident?”
At first, I thought people were considering the bad types of death – drug overdose or even suicide. And at first blush, it’s easy to react to that. But then I saw the question for what it is.
When a person hears of death at 31, when we should be at the very beginning of our lives, it shakes us. It hits a little too close to home. It’s how our finite minds operate. We don’t have a reference point for that early death. We don’t actually have a reference point for death at all.
I’m one of the people who can’t place death. I saw on Facebook that a girl I didn’t know lost her young husband today. I thought about her and how much her life will change.
Today is a turning point for this young mother. A line in the sand was drawn for her. The world will call this a blow. The faithful will call this her testimony.
The world says she’s not going to make it without him. I say that she’s going to make her life and her children’s life better because God so loved him. God so loved her. I prayed that that’s what she knows in the days to come.
A sudden death or a death too soon shakes us because it reminds us that all of us are only here for a dash between two dates. That number is significant, but whose we are is even more significant.
God so loved Michelle from the moment he thought her up. He so loved her from the moment she accepted his free gift. She was the first of all 10 of us kids to do this. She was the first called home to peace and eternity. She’s not sad. She’s living in pure joy.
I believe that death shakes us to a soul level. It’s because we weren’t designed for death. It’s because we were designed for life – eternal life. And that’s why it shakes us. It’s not our true nature.
Someone said this past weekend that we’re supposed to hear God in nature as we walk along. However, sin has deafened us. I believe that when people get that bewildered look and shock from simply stating that “My sister died at 31,” they are hearing the voice of God loud and clear. They are hearing Him say, “You aren’t supposed to die. I made you to be eternal with me. Won’t you join me?”
The darkness sin casts over us pulls away for a moment and we realize we were made for something more. No matter who we’re with, our souls connect in that moment over the loss. We know life is precious. The most precious of gifts. That’s why God gave His life to save ours.
In my Bible study this morning, I was challenged to memorize I Corinthians 6:20, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
God made us for Him. And when we fell, which He knew would happen, He still loved us. He gave His Son to us as a sacrifice to call us back to Him – to call us back to life.
And the more I study His word, I think that’s the most important truth. Our life is meaningful to the One who created us. “For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16 (NIV).
I’m so thankful Michelle knew Jesus loved her. I’m celebrating her birthday today because it was the beginning of an eternal friendship. God so loved her and I that he made us sisters. I can’t think of a better gift for her than to praise Him for what He has done and to live my life according to the plan He made for me. I only wish she were still here to comment on this post.
If you don’t know this love I’ve spoken of today, please reach out – Use my contact page or leave a comment. I would love to talk to you about why God so loved you. Praying for each of you, my dear readers.