Monday, January 24, 2022

Hope through the valley of the shadow

My mom and I took the first flight we could get to Italy the past week... my Nonna passed away and we wanted to be there with our family. Though I've been through the heartache of a few deaths of loved ones, this time the reality of death truly set in. 

Back at home in the US we touch it up, and make it look more "acceptable" so of speak, more formal... but in other countries in the world death is death. It's the end. There's no hiding of the process. The coldness, raw, untouched, ugliness of death hit me in the face as clear as it is.

As I stood with my mom and family there and watched everything unfold before me, someone whispered as they put their arm around me, "Everything comes to an end Barbarè, sadly everything..." The hopelessness hung onto her words and I so desperately wanted to say No, but it doesn't, there's hope for those in Christ... but the words wouldn't come out.

I couldn't help but think of my own death. And it scared me. That one day that would be me too. How ugly it really is, Why? I thought to myself as I held onto my mom's arm as we walked and all followed the car that was driving my Nonna to the cemetery, Why God? Why does this have to happen to us? Of course I knew the answer to that, I know it's because of sin. Sin leads to death, and this was the reality of it all through time. 

Whether we like to think about it or not, death is coming for us all. We can't escape it, our flesh can't live forever here on earth, All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. -Ecclesiastes 3:20

Hopelessness, uncertainty and an acceptance for what death was streamed onto all the familiar faces around me. Religion leaves you just that. That you could only hope you will go to a better place. 

But I know the Truth and it has set me free from fear and anxiety. My soul clings onto this and it's the reason I know that I don't need to fear death anymore. Jesus himself defeated death! God himself died and then resurrected three days later and came back to life for me, for you, for everyone and anyone that would accept Him as their Lord and Savior! 

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Corinthians 15:55

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Surely all that have faith and accept Christ will one day resurrect too just like Jesus did. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Romans 6:5

And though my heart aches for everyone that doesn't know this, I continue to pray that someday they will too. Because God is good and merciful towards everyone, He doesn't want anyone to perish. 

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

It hurts to lose someone we love, but the Lord knows our pain for He suffered just like we do. But He is so good that He left us with a Hope that no one could take away. Though our sin brought us death that not one of us could escape, God gave us a chance to live again through Jesus Christ. 

I hope these words bring you comfort in knowing that you don't need to be scared of death if you know Christ. And if you don't, I hope you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and repent from all of your sins so that you too could live forever in His love and presence. 

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. 

Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.

The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. Psalm 116:3-8

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