Death and How it Affects Us-

As firefighters, we witness death on a regular basis. Some even become numb to the effects of being near to it so often.

We joke about it at the dinner table moments after witnessing tragedy seemingly untouched by what we just saw.

Or so we thought…

What happens when we lose a loved one? 

What happens when tragedy strikes our own lives?

What happens when our health fails?

What happens when all we worked for collapses and those we love abandon us?

Do we then still look at death the same? Do we casually talk about it at the dinner table? 

No, it becomes personal, painful, and all consuming. Our joking demeanor changes to a more somber attitude.

“But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed” Job 4:5

Yet as firefighters, we console the grieving with our words but what about our hearts? We often shy away from getting too personal for fear of others seeing our true selves. 

If we were honest with one another, we say:

The reason death has no affect upon me is that I died along time ago when:

“The eyes of a lifeless child looked past my soul as he lay in my arms…”

“The frantic loved one that refused my embrace when I tried to tell him that his beautiful fiancée had been killed…”

“When a 19 year old boy lay crushed upon a floor while the brother begged me to do the impossible and make him live again…”

“When the screams of a sorrow stricken mother filled my ears when I had to tell her that her new born baby had passed away at the hands of her boyfriend…”

These deaths became a part of us and it seems a part of us died with them but yet…,

“Can the dead live again? If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle, and I would eagerly await the release of death.”

—Job 14:14

But for those who choose to believe in Christ, their hope is a life everlasting. Death is a mere passage from this life to eternal life with God. 

But is our faith only strong when things aren’t going wrong? 

But what about right now? The pain, the loneliness, the anger we feel when someone precious to us are taken from us. 

We cry out in despair. We long for comfort and peace. For this world offers only temporary solutions to a permanent problem. 

Our problem is that in the midst of our pain and grief we lack the perspective to see it all through God’s eyes. God is the one who can provide us the ultimate comfort.

“Blessed be the God . . . of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction.”2 Corinthians 1:3-4 

We forget the peace of the Father’s comfort:

Do we remember as a child when we would come to our parents in tears and they would tell us it would be okay?

Did we doubt? Did we ask for proof of their claim? Did we go and look for answers elsewhere because we didn’t believe them?

No. Because we had Faith but what is Faith?

“Faith is being confident in what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1

Faith is the trust that God asks us to have in Him. Just like a child doesn’t doubt their earthly father; we should not doubt our Heavenly Father.

We can have faith that death is not the end. Because:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, is your sting?

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”

(1 Corinthians 15:55-57)

So let us encourage one another during our times of sorrow. God will provide us comfort and He has placed those in our fellowship to be “the hands and feet of Christ.” 

Come along side one another and lift each other up during these times. And let us not forget the hope we have in Him.

Death is not the end for all those who believe,

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 

Do you believe? 

Andy Starnes

Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries

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