“Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever! I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, He will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” – Job 19:23-27 (NIV)
I was five years old when I was first introduced to death. I remember being on tour with EP Ministries. (It’s a music ministry directed by my parents and where I was raised.)
On any given day off, there was always the sound of people looking forward to enjoying it. Some excitement, a lot of talk, plans of what to do, etc. But, on this particular day, everyone was unusually quiet.
My father who was driving the bus took us into town and after he parked he turned to me and asked, “Want some ice-cream?” My answer, as would be expected, was always, “Yes!” We found a local shop and hand-in-hand walked down the main street as I relished every morsel of that ice cream. My dad finally turned to me and said he had something very difficult to tell me. He also told me I needed to be strong.
With hesitant words, he informed me that Bobby, my six-month-old German Shepherd, had been in an accident and died. Right then, I experienced a kind of pain I hadn’t felt before. A questionable, unfair, new reality I couldn’t wrap my five-year-old mind around. After asking many questions of “how” and “when”, I finally looked up at my dad and said, “Why did Jesus let Bobby die?”
What can a parent say? How do you answer that to such a small, young mind?
Fast forward to today. I’ve been married for a little over a year. My husband and I were quite keen to start a family. So, when we found out we were pregnant six months in, we were stoked! We couldn’t wait to share our joy with the world. But before we could, I began to bleed. This too was new. I didn’t know one could experience death so close to one’s soul. A part of you dies, but the other part keeps living. It was a long two months, but I finally had to have surgery to physically heal. My heart took much longer than that.
My pain is nothing compared to Job’s in the Bible. Very few can match what he went through. But, his words give me life. Through his pain, one indelible truth was evident for him: a Redeemer lives! The concept of death is nullified in the universe of Jesus. Life is the truthful reality. Job said, in his “flesh” he would see God. Not another, but his own eyes.
I am 34 years old and I’ve finally found the end-result and the antidote to “death”. It is simply Jesus. My Redeemer lives and this changes everything.
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