It's been said that the only certainties of life are "death and taxes". Death still makes house calls but for the Christian death is the door that leads to real life. When terminal illness is the diagnosis we hope and pray for a miracle. That's what we did when our daughter, Crystal, was diagnosed with leukemia. We knew God had healed people in the past, in fact, He even raised some from the dead. In the Bible, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead but eventually he died again...two funerals for the same person? In the end death is not our enemy. Robert Wise reminds us that for the Christian, "Death is the greatest miracle of all."* Crystal had a battle with leukemia. Many would conclude that she fought hard but in the end leukemia won. They would be wrong, for in her battle with leukemia, Crystal definitely won. She won first, because leukemia did not destroy her faith and her attitude. More importantly, she also won because Jesus already won the victory over death and shared that victory with her, as He does with all believers, and as Robert Wise reminds us, "The last battle is the only one that really maters."**
That is certainly good news, but grief is still a fact of live. It cannot be avoided, but it need not be our enemy. Grief is a gift from God to help us deal with our deep sorrow. In grief, though we may have sorrow, we also are reminded of the precious memories of the past. Grief also helps us cope with the present and even prepare us for whatever lies in the future.
"Death has been swallowed up in victory....thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15:54-57
*Robert Wise, "When There Is No Miracle", Ventura, CA:Regal Books, 1977 (1983 printing), 164