A Meditation
 on the
 Passing of a Loved One

         Since Eden, God has put a limit on human life, so that the day surely comes when each of us will face bereavement with the passing of friends and loved ones and ultimately our own demise. With the loss of a loved one, the sure knowledge that the deceased was numbered among the redeemed is of great comfort to those who remain.  However, whatever our understanding of these things may be, we should remind ourselves that we cannot begin to fathom or comprehend, the length, the breadth, the height, the depth, of God's grace.  Our dogma cannot limit God's love.  He alone knows the human heart.  I am sure we will be surprised at some of those we meet on "that day".  We should only ask the rhetorical question Abraham asked of God. “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25

      In these days when our society has denied God and His righteous laws, it has been popular to blame others for any faults that affect us or our enjoyment of the popular concept of “a good life”. Of course we are not reminded of the blessings that these same people may have bestowed on us and of our own ability as reasoning human beings to make positive choices in our life, selecting the good and avoiding the bad, as we should understand it, according to God's righteous law.

       It is easy these days to be trapped into the mind-set that tries to find someone else to blame for every unfortunate event. No doubt it is usually those closest to us that affect our lives by their actions (or in-action) but we should understand, that God allows difficult events in our lives, sometimes as the result of our own choice, but He uses them for our development - He "gives beauty for ashes". On the other hand, some Christians have a sort of fatalistic faith that believes God has a “perfect plan” for their lives and attribute all that happens to them as a direct ‘act of God’. This denies the very nature of our creation as creatures of free will, made “in the likeness and image” of God. As a well known New Zealand preacher of International repute used to say, “God does not have a plan for your life, He has a purpose” and then went on to explain that God is more interested in how you react and handle your current situation than what you say you plan to do in the future. In making good choices where we are now, honours God and maybe helps us understand other's struggles and difficulties in the times when it is more easy to be critical.

      The “spirit of this age” has been at pains to destroy the biblical idea of family relationships by restricting and diminishing parent’s role and influence while at the same time encouraging independence, "choice" and freedom. The social context in which this "liberty", can be exercised has been defined by the same “lying spirit”, so that, for some, good choices are virtually impossible. Hence we have jails full of criminals, wide spread violence and debasement in society and much mental illness.

      There is an answer and we must each do our part. The loss of a dear one is often enough of a shock to give us pause and maybe think how we will react to our present situation. A passage of Scripture that keeps coming back to me and I'm sure it is a pointer to the remedy of all our grief and the ills that beset us, a simple word in Jeremiah 6:16 “This is what Yehovah says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. . . .” If you dear friend have just lost a loved one, may you be able to see in that one frail life, a God given inspiration, to make your own life richer and fuller. That is a true choice and real cause for a proper grieving.

      We can then say with the apostle, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3,4

 16 February 2002

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