“Where, O death is your sting?”
As I began my quiet time with God, my eyes fell to this familiar passage in 1 Corinthians. I did not need to wonder about the sting. It was a deep, piercing, stab in my heart.
I was startled awake by a phone call the day before, informing me my beautiful older sister—my first childhood playmate and friend—had died in her sleep. The sting of death was very real to me as I stared at the words in my Bible. Death was a familiar part of my family’s life. We had experienced the premature death of my father and brother … but this one was different.
We’d spent the eve of Ophelia’s death celebrating the wedding of our nephew. Our world was good. Now, suddenly, she was gone. The one I would have called to help me deal with the crisis at hand was gone. My mind retraced the events of the night before. She had such joy and excitement in dressing her granddaughter as the flower girl. The joy of being with family bubbled out of her.
What do I do with this pain in my heart? I prayed. I sat bewildered and brokenhearted that morning. As the tears cleared enough for me to read how He gives us victory over sin and death, there was my hope. His name is Jesus, and because of the price He paid, death will not always sting. One day, death will be no more, and the dead in Christ will rise. That includes my sister. Just that assurance—that she is in her eternal home free from all pain, sorry, and death itself—became enough.
Maybe as you read this, you too are grieving. Be it the death of a loved one, the loss of a dream, or a broken relationship. All are deaths that have temporary stings. Whatever your loss may be today, thank God you have victory over sin and death—through Christ.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and Kimme.)
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