Death is guaranteed to make you think. It could make you cry, obviously, but it ought to make you think. Strangely enough, as I thought about death and faith this week, these were the three passages that caught my attention. (There’s a short clip from each but they are too long to quote here; read them elsewhere.)
2 Samuel 12:18-23 “But now he is dead. Why should I fast?” [David mourns for his dead child]
Luke 9:57-62 “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 14:25-35 “any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
Despite the grief, I have never had such a sense of relief either. Never does God seem so much in charge and in control of our lives as when ‘life’ is no longer a concern. I know these passages are shockingly hard – people must completely obliterate these when they think about Jesus as some comfy stuffed animal friend – but in their hardness seems to be an infinite gentleness that you only really grasp after you surrender to the hardness. Could that be it? In any case, it’s not even like surrender is a once-over kind of thing.
Lord, forgive my lack of faith –
that I want to hide and retreat when I am weak.
Don’t I know that when I am weak you are strong?
Forgive my misplaced loyalty to my pleasure and not yours.
Have I forgotten that you hold the whole world in your hands?
And how you do uplift –