Life and Death Are Not Opposites
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
A time to be born and a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3:2, ESV)
Two of the most sobering occasions I have been part of have involved birth and dying. Each have reminded me of God’s sovereignty over our coming in and going out. Life and death are not opposites or contradictory as some might believe, but more like counter parts; each have a place in life. Each has a purpose and define a rhythm of life. Once we enter through birth we will not escape or avoid its counterpart, death.
Solomon’s poem about times and seasons reminds us God is sovereign over and personally involved in every aspect of life. Psalm 139 says even before we were known to others, while we were still hidden and tucked away from human eyes, God was touching us, establishing ownership and relationship. Already setting in place a series of beginnings and endings, starts and stops, purposing, arranging, and ordaining each to fit into his plans for us. Between life and death, by God’s plan, we will experience joy and tragedy. We will mourn and be happy. We will gain and we will lose. We will build and tear down. We will kiss and embrace and love and we will be distant, let go and hate.
Up to this point all of us have only experienced the first two parts of God’s plans for us: birth, and the part that comes before death. We’ve yet to experience the counterpart of birth: death, but even when that time comes God will not be far from us, he will not be uninvolved, emotionless, disconnected. His closeness will never be greater than when we are making our exit.
King David wrote “Lord, my times are in your hands (Ps. 31:15) and “you keep my feet from stumbling” (Ps. 66:9). Like David, do you feel safe and secure in God’s hands, or do you experience nervousness when order and peace of life seem absent?
Praying Ecclesiastes 1:2
Lord, I will take pleasure and rejoice in your care. Your love surrounds me in every season of life. You have bookended my life by two occasions: both leading to life if my time in the middle is spent with you. Thank you for your promises and love. Amen