I’ve been thinking about these things since I recently had a close encounter with death. By that I do not mean that I almost died, however I mean that someone close to me did indeed die. The importance of both Life & Death. Pondering on these things and studying related topics I’ve come to understand and decide to share my knowledge of these topics. I feel like with these topics comes much confusion with both believers and non-believers. I also do not want to act like I fully understand these things, and because of that I have some questions that I will place at the end that I hope you would give a shot at answering.
Experience With Death
Throughout my life I have had many different experiences with death. The first death I remember is my Grandmother on my Mother’s side of the family. She was a great woman and I was very young. It was sad but I could not yet understand fully what this meant, or totally feel what it’s like to lose someone close. A few years later my Grandmother on my Father’s side died and I was a bit closer to her. At that point I was without God and still had a hard time understanding why people die and why it feels so weird. Not too long after that both of my cats died. One after another. At that time it felt bad. I loved my cats. But a week later it was no big deal. The loss of my grandmother still lingered, while I forgot about my cat’s deaths. Anytime my cats were brought up afterwards was because both cats died of cancer, which is shocking. Mainly because I have never heard of a cat dying of cancer before, and neither have most people.
The most recent death I have had to deal with was that of my Father. Just this February his liver failed among other things slowly poisoning his body, ruining his memory, and ultimately killed him. This was the worst death I have ever had to deal with. It seems as if a death of a parent should be. He was a great man, and yet the word “was” means that he no longer exists on earth. Now at this point in my life I have known Christ for about eight years. And up until a few days before he died I was worried that my dad was headed to hell. However I found he also had a relationship with Christ and I had nothing to worry about. Even with that affirmation there are still a few things I have trouble understanding, but I will talk about those later.
I know, and its obvious, that I am not the only person that has ever dealt with death. Likewise, these topics are interesting to more than just me. I have had many people around me have people close to them die also. It’s especially hard to help other people get over the death of loved ones. The only comfort I have about my Father is that I will see him again.
Recent Thoughts On Death
With the recent death of my Father, comes a few thoughts that have swam around in my head. These are things I am sure a lot of people have thought of. For these two items, I feel like there really is no resolution.
First of all, every time I drive home I have to come to the conclusion that Dad is not there. That no longer how hard I try or feel that I need to, I cannot speak to my Dad on this earth. I also have to come to the realization that he just does not exist anymore on earth. This is the weirdest part about death. All that personality, humor, wisdom, and love is gone. Everything my Father worked hard for has stopped. The timeline of Mark Bryan Bassett is over. So anything he made, whether craft or wealth, is no longer his, dispersed among his family and he cannot enjoy all the things he has created. The main things he created were me and my brother Mark. Enjoying relationships with my brother and I is also impossible on this planet. I will miss my dad. But luckily I will see him again in Heaven.
Second of all, and not quite as important, the kids I may one day have, will miss out on one great Grandfather. I knew the love and humor my dad could show them. He also lost an opportunity to see the kids I may one day create. Unless of course the kids I may make at some point in their lives accept Christ. Then in Heaven, they too will be able to meet him.
And so these are only two things I have thought about in that matter for some time on the topic of my own Father. But much more have I learned.
The Importance of Human Life
Human life brings happiness. The birth of a child brings a smile to a hopeful Mother’s face. Unless of course it was an accident. But even then it is hard for a Mother to give up her child, abortion or adoption, its still a struggle. Cat’s do not look at their kittens and smile. Cry when her babies meow wrong at her or not listen. If a cat is born on accident you put it down or give it away. No problem. If a human is mean constantly or maybe even physically abusive to his wife, do you immediately kill him? No. If a cat constantly bites anyone and everyone do you kill it? Yes. Why the difference?
As humans we have free will. But not only free will but the want to be free. We feel like certain things are wrong and certain things are correct and just. In a court of law, the chainsaw that cut the man’s head off is not the one put in jail. If a man makes a woman hold a knife and kill a different man, it is not the woman nor the knife that gets sentenced. The one that gets sentenced is the one who willfully killed, with all the free choice they possess. A chainsaw does not have free choice. A knife does not have free choice. And the woman in that example did not have the choice either.
We know things are wrong. There are universal morals. Is it okay for me to rape your mother? Oh it is not? Okay well I am sure everyone on earth agrees and there is no other way to explain why other than Jeremiah 31:33b
I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
God wrote his law on our hearts, that is indeed why we know what is wrong. We are important to God because he made us in his image. (Gen 1:27)
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Why do we love according to God? (1 John 4:19)
We love because he first loved us.
And why does it hurt when people die, and seem so unreal and hard to understand? Well the Lord did indeed make us in his image. However he is infinite and when Adam & Eve first sinned that made humans have expiration dates (not actual dates). We were meant to be eternal. And still we have the opportunity to live eternally. God says he sent his one and only son to die on the cross for us (john 3:16). If we accept that fact, we can receive his gift of forgiveness. Letting us go to heaven no matter what. Do you think you are good enough go to heaven? You are not. If heaven exists, then what God says about Heaven goes. And he says if you sin once then you are screwed. Not only were you born with sin but you know you have sinned otherwise. Plus Ephesians 2:8,9 lets us know the only way is through God’s forgiveness and nothing we do “good” matters when it comes to the matter of going to Heaven.
Because of these things, it is much harder to believe that there is not a caring loving creator God, then it is to believe. 1 John 4:8 says God is love. I understand and believe that statement. Because of that I have learned how to love people much better by studying the character of God himself. Also, in a finite world, with our finite bodies, it is hard to see the Pros of life & death, rather than the Cons.
The questions I have for you…
- Does anything hurt more than death?
- Knowing these things is it still possible to say a creator God does not exist?
- Have you had to answer the question “If a loving God does indeed exist, why does he kill the innocent and let the evil live?”, if so how did you answer it. Were you the one asking it? And how was it answered?