From Life to Life
Darkness. Warmth. Comfort. Slowly, that fades away and a dim light becomes present. I can hear the soft rustle of someone on the bed above me. It is my roommate as he slowly finds life from his deep slumber of the night. I lift the greatest struggle of the day through my eyelids, but simply give in and let gravity do its greatest work. I do not want to get up.
Eventually, the alarm on my phone screams with the ceasing of his own rest. I roll over and comfort it back to sleep, worrying that it would disturb my roommate, and play the dance of rest and activity, slipping in between consciousness and dream. It is 8:20 am, Sunday, February 2, 2014.
I rise against my will and prepare for the day. I need to leave for church in about 30 minutes, so my shower must be quick but thorough. I put on my best shirt, brush my hair back, wash behind my ears, and lace my shoes. Ready for battle, the chasm that kept the darkness of our room sacred is split and my body writhes in pain, as if my fanged tooth had just touched garlic and a crucifix. I get to church and I worship. I pray. I read. The sermon begins on Daniel 11 and trusting God in times of confusion.
I then feel a vibration in the pocket of my jeans. Typically not the person to check my phone in the middle of a church service, I decided to go against my own grain just to see if it was a friend looking to sit by me at church. It was a text message from my mom. My grandmother's sister died at 8 am that morning.
It is terrifying to think that even in this world of immediate information, I could sleep through such a drastic and finite event like death. It seems that this was a pattern of my week. This past Tuesday, the pastor at the church I was first saved at, a mentor of mine, passed away, leaving a church, wife, and teenage daughter.
I want to comfort people. When in times of stress, death, and unknown, I want to be there and hold you and pray for you. So I began to think of what to say to a person who just had their father pass away. How do you rationalize finite death when we are convinced that life seems to go on forever?
The writer of Hebrews is attempting to show that Jesus is the perfect substitution for our sins. That He is the perfect lamb and priest at the same time. In the middle of that argument, the writer gives an excellent truth and comfort in chapter 2. Jesus Himself, God incarnate, tasted death, just like us.
"Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery." Hebrews 2:14-15 ESV
It is easy to say, but difficult to believe, that death should be a comfort and a praise for believers. This life is the closest we will ever get to death. When our heart stops beating, we will simply phase through what we consider "death," but it will be too thin to see. Too thin to feel. From life to life.
We have all experienced someone close dying, but you can never relate to someone who is in the thick of it right now. I'm praying for those of you dealing and fighting through it right now. Please do not run from God at this moment. Run towards Him. Envelope yourself in prayer. Surround yourself in Godly people. Bathe yourself in the Word. He is with you. He will get you through this.