My grandmother very recently passed away, and with her passing, I cannot help but be introspective… My life was greatly impacted by her life, and my heart has been greatly impacted by her death. Sleep hasn’t come easily over the last five days. Every time I close my eyes to rest, old pictures and memories begin to flood my mind, and inevitably I begin to think about all the things I am going to miss about her. But even more than that, I begin to mull over how harsh the reality of death really seems… One minute you are a living, breathing, seemingly important person and the next you are just a memory. And who knows, in two generations, you may be forgotten altogether… Just a box of pictures of people in your family tree who may intrigue you but whom you do not know. We even spend so much time and effort trying to preserve what cannot be preserved. These bodies we have are temporary, at best… But even in death, we embalm, put makeup on, and dress up trying to make the dead appear alive.
This is the first family death we have had since I have become a mother, and this time has been much more difficult to process because I’ve been trying to explain things in a kid-friendly way to Brinson. So, in trying to help him understand the reality of death, I have had to internalize things so much more in order to explain them appropriately. But in internalizing things, God has taught me a very important/revolutionizing point. In a Shane and Shane song that I like it says, “Solomon, wisest one tell me what you have found, under the sun… under the sun… he answered… GET OVER, GET OVER, GET OVER YOURSELF.” For years I have wondered what that really meant, and then early this morning, while I tried to sleep, but could only replay the events of the last few days, it hit me.
This life is a vapor… like I was saying earlier, it is crazy how quickly we pass from a person to a memory, and I feel like asking, “what is it all for?” It feels like we are nothing… But that is precisely why it is so important– a necessity– to put your trust in Christ. He is the only one who transcends time. If our hope, our identity, is found in Christ, then our lives are truly capable of having real meaning. Otherwise, we invest in what cannot be preserved, and once it is gone, it is gone forever. What a sad reality that is. But investing in Christ, and putting effort in making Him known to those around us is the only thing that has true meaning because He is the only one who continues to live on and is not capable of just becoming a memory. Even the grave couldn’t hold Him!
And so, throughout the last 5 days, I feel like in my grandmother’s death I have discovered the secret of life. It’s Jesus. The reality of the cross and what Jesus did on the cross is life… and even in death, for the one who believe in Jesus as the Rescuer, Redeemer, and Savior… death is only the beginning of life. So, now I understand that the Shane and Shane song I referenced earlier is referring to the fact that if you only focus on you and what cannot be preserved, you have missed the point of life. GET OVER YOURSELF…
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” 1 Cor. 1:18