Meditations by John Dean

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Mystery of Death

(Hebrews 9:27)  And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment;

Even though I have used this scripture many times over the years at funerals and in other messages, I still find the subject of death to be a mystery. One starts off in the eternal past as a spirit and ends up in the eternal future as a spirit. The short time in-between God gives man a physical body to live in and be responsible for. Because that body has no eternal value it is appointed to eventually die, but no one knows exactly when except the Father.

When God formed Adam out of the earth he remained only a pile of dirt until God breathed life into his nostrils. At that time, the formed dirt became a living being.

Doctors and nurses often say that when a patient dies they take a deep breath and then exhale…and that is death or the reversal of life. In other words that is when the eternal spirit is released from the temporal body.

All of this makes sense and seems simple enough to understand up to a point. Where it begins to fall apart is when it becomes personal and one’s heart and emotions are ripped apart by the loss of a child, a parent, a husband or a wife. This is often when the question why sets in and yet all explanations are rejected.

The only reason I am even writing about the issue of death is because of an experience I had the other day. By sharing my experience I do not mean to imply that it compares in any way to the loss of a loved one. It is only meant to show how real one’s emotions are.

Karen and I have a little dog named Baxter who is getting old and has a hard time getting around. We took Baxter to the vet the other day to have him examined and logically talk about his future as a healthy dog. None of us (including the vet), wants to do any heroics just to keep Baxter alive for our sakes…particularly when he is living in pain. Our conversation with the vet was very logical and made sense, but when I realized that Baxter’s life or death was based on my decision…things began to change.

It was then that I began to understand that the question why that often comes when a person loses a loved one is not a question at all…it is a statement because no answers are wanted or accepted.

The point is…it is easier to reason logically with the mind because it can be controlled, whereas one’s emotions often cannot be controlled.

Help me to grow in understanding the whole person more deeply, including the complicated emotions that often surface as a result of death. Thank You Lord for giving us emotions because without them we would be incapable of showing love to one another and especially to You.

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