Death, be not proud

There has been a song in my head and heart for the past few days. I stumbled across Audrey Assad's EP a few years ago. I'd never heard of her before, but when I heard the song, "Death, be not proud," for the first time, I was captivated. The song is inspired by a sonnet with the same title written by the English poet, John Donne. A few lines sung by Assad have been swirling in my head along with mediations of, well - to put it plainly, death. The very real truth that I could close my eyes one moment and the next open them and be in the presence of the Lord Jesus. The very real possibility that my last day on earth could be today. These very real truths don't make me afraid though, but mindful and full of hope. You see, for those of us who have believed on Jesus, we know that death is not final. It has no sting and no effect on us. Now, please understand, I am believing that the Lord (God-willing) will satisfy me with long life, but the point I am making is because our Savior Jesus already defeated death, we don't have to worry.

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
— 1 Corinthians 15:55 NIV
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By the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ, I've been alive for 30 years. The Lord has kept me. He has seen me through many trials, failures, difficulties, hurts, pains, celebrations, joyous moments, precious times, and thousands upon thousands of blessings. The ones I know about and the ones I am completely unaware of.

My life has been blessed and favored by God up until this point. However, I know when it's time for me to go, I know where I am going. I've noticed that we as a society have poured into our social media accounts, bank accounts, life savings, popularity statuses, notoriety that we store up here on earth - but these distractions may cause some of us to forget that we won't be here always.

I even forget sometimes, when I'm just living and "doing me," I can get intoxicated with the idea that I will live here on earth forever. It feels good to not worry about the day of our death, it feels good to think we are going to live forever here on this beautiful planet God made. It feels good because God created us to live forever. We are eternal beings. However, before we live forever (either with God or apart from Him) we are here on this earth and we have the choice to believe on Christ and to give glory to God by living out His plan for us.

...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
— Romans 10:9 NKJV
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
— Matthew 22:36-40 NLT
No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
— Micah 6:8 NLT
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
— Romans 12:1

But life here is not forever. Life forever is in heaven with the Lord.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
— Philippians 1:21 NIV

I was talking to our 3-year-old Elijah (I think we were praying, I can't remember) one morning and I actually said the words to him, "Mommy and Daddy won't always be here with you, but Jesus will be here with you forever." I don't know why I started weeping during that statement, but I believe it was because it was a beautiful truth that I've always known, but never actually said out of my mouth.

I trust God with my life and with my death here on earth, because it literally has no sting for me because I have believed on, trusted in and have placed all my hope in the only One who can save my soul, Jesus Christ. God's only Son. So, I rest. I take comfort in numbering my days. 

So today, when I got that NPR notification early this morning, I read on my phone that there had been a mass shooting in Las Vegas. My heart sunk. I've been trying to process it all day. My heart still is going out to the families of the people who lost their lives and to the family of the shooter. I'm praying for God to comfort the moms, dads, sisters, brothers of the people who have been affected. It's a sad day when senseless violence happens, but it serves as a reminder to the living that life is precious, life is short and that we need to get to know the Lord Jesus because anytime could be our time. 

As I mentioned earlier, God has kept me. But He has also kept you. He has kept me from dangers seen and unseen. And He has also kept you, dear reader. It's nothing we could have ever done on my own.

I will be the first to say, I'm not lucky, I'm not super saved, I'm not perfect or more special than anyone else, it's only been the grace of God on my life and my families life. 

This post is only meant to encourage us all to not be discouraged by what happens in this world, to not be dismayed or perplexed, and to not even be rattled about what happens in our own lives but to fix our eyes on Jesus. Fix our eyes on the fact that this life is mere moments compared to eternity with the Lord. So, we don't hurry along the end of our days, we enjoy the beautiful life we've been given, putting all our hope in Jesus, and not fearing death because death has been defeated. Based on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we can stand ready to be with the Lord forever when it's time.

And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
— 1 Corinthians 15:26 NIV
Death, be not proud, cause even death will die.
— Audrey Assad, Death, Be Not Proud
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