Feb 16

It certainly seems that we have had more than our share of sickness and death recently. How thankful we are that it’s not always like this! But it’s certainly this way now, and so we can look at it and focus on the very real losses we feel, which we must do to a certain extent in order to deal in a healthy way with such loss. But there are other things we can focus on as well that may help to get us through these more difficult patches of life.

  • We can consider the great blessings that our loved ones bring to our lives. We would not be experiencing this degree of pain and hurt if we had not lost something—someone—who meant so much to us. Ultimately, it brings us comfort to remember that the reason it hurts so badly is because we had a relationship with someone that was so very special.
  • We can consider the relationships we have with people today who are still very much alive. Joyce and I were talking about this on our drive back from the airport upon her return from Texas. When her father died a few years ago, there were some who felt regret because of things they did or didn’t do while their father was alive. And now, with her mother so seriously ill, the question is, are we doing (or not doing) the same things, the same way? If that is the case, we will have the same regrets. It doesn’t have to be that way. Take time to really be with the ones you love. Tell them the things that need to be said. Realize that each day, each moment with them is a gift. Appreciate it. Take advantage of that gift.
  • We can consider those around us who are struggling with loss, and with other pressures and stresses and difficulties of life. 2 Cor. 1 says that “the God of all comfort” gives us that comfort when we need it. It also says He does that not only to ease our burden, but “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Don’t let it stop with you. Pass it on.
  • We can consider that this life, and these relationships, are certainly temporary. As a preacher, I can give you the BCV (Book-Chapter-Verse) for how these bodies don’t live forever. But it’s when we lose someone close to us that these truths really come home to apply to us and those we love. The question then becomes, “Okay, so does that mean anything to me? Does it affect the decisions I make, how I live my life?” If someone looks at the way you are living each day, the choices you are making, the way you spend your time, how you spend your money, would they come away saying that you are someone with a great faith in God and a strong sense that, as the song says, “This world is not my home; I’m just a-passing though?” Or would they decide that, no matter what you say, you are acting more like the man in Jesus’ parable in Luke 12, saying to yourself instead, “You have plenty laid up for years! Take life easy! Eat, drink, have fun, be happy!” Nothing wrong with those things. Unless they are the reason for our lives, the mission we seek to fulfill every day. They’re fine servants. But they’re horrible masters.

One thing that parable in Luke 12 tells us, brought to reality in our lives when we lose a loved one: we don’t live forever. Not in this life anyway. What is your life saying about what you really believe?

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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