Thursday, March 11

Dying Birds and Other Important Things

Bene Diction Blogs On has written a touching piece about a dying friend and a robin. So this story was what I was thinking over as I drove this morning. I've learned a lot about dying in the past few years, and here are two thing I've learned that this story brought to mind:

1. Knowing that you have a terminal illness can be a real blessing from God. Bene speaks of the nesting robin:
She gave my friend hope and a way to look through terrible pain. They became friends of sorts and there is no way to explain that.

Knowing you are dying allows you to toss aside many of the unnecessary distractions of this life and focus on the beauty in our everyday gifts from God. World events, government affairs, acquiring material things all fade into the background, and the simple things become "realer" than real. It's hard to describe how much joy can be found in a good cup of coffee, a meal with loved ones, a puppy, or a fishing trip when you understand with certainty that you will not be here to enjoy them forever.

Of course, we cannot chose our manner of death. We will all go in the way determined for us. The next time you think about how you would like to go, remember that while a sudden death may spare you pain, it does not allow you this precious time of saying good-bye to the things of this world as you prepare yourself for your journey to the next one.

2. Just as the sparrow does not fall "apart from the Father’s will", so it is with us. God has consented to the timing and means of each sparrow’s death, and in the same way, He has chosen the timing and means of the death of each one of us. So we should not be afraid, for our good heavenly Father, who does all things right, carries us through to the next life in His perfect way:

Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.... So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29,31 NET)
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