I have a hope in God—a hope that they themselves also accept—that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. (Acts 24:15)
Life, it is a challenge. All of us are emotionally challenged – it is just a matter of degrees. Why? In part because we are dying. Each one of us is terminal. It isn’t if we are going to die, but how and when. This anxiety is low level until it is forced to the forefront of our minds because of an impending surgery, cancer, or the death of a loved one. Then, we grieve anew our own short lives on this earth.
The key to a happy and fulfilled life depends, in part, on how we face the reality of our impending death. Some people face their mortality with alcohol and drugs. Others treat life as play and focus on “Bucket Lists.” Still others pretend it simply isn’t going to happen. In some ways, those are the individuals I worry about the most. Ignoring a serious situation will make its reality significantly more shocking when suffering and death rears its ugly head.
Faith in God, through Jesus Christ, provides the lasting answer to the questions of death and dying. The “Who” is all of us. Everyone you’ve ever known. “What” is the reality of our deaths. “When” is within 100 years, but it could happen today. “Where” is on this earth. “Why” is tricky. Are we just another group of atoms organized into another form of animal and aligned over trillions of years of evolution? Was it due to our sinfulness, as so many theologians of the past have asserted? Is it just the first part of our eternal journey with God? Our belief in God does not provide all the answers. But in faith, we need not know the answers as long as we trust in the God who cares and has the power to heal us eternally.
Today, consider your mortality and the mortality of all you know. Rather than let it feel overwhelming, be honest about your thoughts and beliefs. Then, offer it all up to God. The process of faith will help you face the reality of death and dying in an emotionally healthy way. Your emotional and spiritual wellbeing will help bring healing to your life, and those you care about and love. Facing the painful is the way to healing and wholeness.