"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psalm 116:15
On Wednesday this week two dear saints saw the sun for the last time this side of glory. One was my 83-year-old grandmother, who passed away peacefully in her sleep at the hospital. She was a missionary, pastor and professor's wife, mother to four godly children, 12 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. She lived a full life, was close to friends and family, and finished the race.
The other was my friend's nephew, born at only 15 weeks gestation. He saw the brightness of the sun and heard his mother's voice before also passing away, without a sound.
Death is always hard, and always grim. Death is the last enemy, and even when the race is finished well, it still ends in tragedy. We are called to fight this enemy our entire lives, all the time knowing that he will win and he cannot be cheated.
It is easy to thank God for my grandmother's life. She accomplished much, and died at peace, old and full of years. However, it is harder with the tiny baby, who had such a short life. Why was he created only to die? Why did God choose to take this tiny one home so soon? Maybe I only have a hard time because I have said good-bye to my own tiny babies several times.
And then I was reminded that the Creator wants us to be like Him. He sees all tragedies, all small, quiet deaths, everywhere, every day. In that moment when that young mother said both hello and good-bye to her son, she was given the opportunity to grieve as God does who is present at every death, millions of people every day. He sees His enemy at work, on a massive scale, and is waiting for the perfect timing to sound his defeat.
Jesus showed us that death will be defeated. I will see my grandmother again, at a great feast, drinking wine and rejoicing. This mother will hold her baby boy. But, like our Heavenly Father, we have this opportunity, here and now, to see through His eyes. The blessing is to be present at the side of a loved one, and cry out as they breathe their last breath, just as He does all around the world, every day.