A Day in the Life of a Pastor – Death Doesn’t Win

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Death doesn’t win.

As I write this, I am coming off of attending a funeral this weekend of a little warrior who lived for 340 days. I am attending a funeral tomorrow of a friend’s dad this week and another one in two weeks. In my quiet time, I talk with God like he is in the chair next to me. Others may find it silly, but if prayer is talking with God, I have lots to say and lots of questions.

These deaths are rattling around in my thoughts. Why a child? How can this person die like this? How does God’s sovereign timing come into play? These are real life challenges with grief, pain and sadness involved. I feel for each of my friends – people who love God, living life to honor him and doing their best to impact the lives of others. These are tough days.

My thoughts always funnel down to this one thought…Jesus, the hope of glory. This is the difference between someone who believes on Jesus as the Christ and Savior of the world versus someone who chooses not to believe. What do you put your hope in when you face a difficult situation? Without Christ, you are left to anything you can fabricate on your own – your talents, relationships, thoughts and supports. You still get those with a relationship with Christ but when you add God to the equation, you moved from the natural to the supernatural. Eph 3:20 says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Whatever we can accomplish with our own gifts, talents, thoughts and relationships, God is still far beyond what we can imagine.

Hope is a big word to me in this time. I learned a great lesson when I did the funeral of a dear little boy named Ezra. He battled cancer and lived 800 days. I shared at the funeral that day, “On the day that Jesus was crucified, no one celebrated the cross. It was the most severe, heinous and gruesome way to die. It was centered on pain and agony. No one rushed to the cross and said ‘thank you Jesus for the cross.’ Yet, this most gruesome death in history was also linked to the most glorious event in history. The resurrection of Christ! We celebrate the cross today because God used it to bring us into personal relationship with Him.” That is the same hope that I have today. These deaths, though tragic, are part of God’s master plan. My hope is in Him to take our sorrows today and make them into something beautiful tomorrow. I couldn’t do this…but I know He can.

You might say, “I am not facing death today.” Maybe it is another “giant” with another name. It still is daunting; challenging you to stop in your tracks and stay there. Read Ephesians 3:20 again and ask yourself, “Who is my hope in?”

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