Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Because of his great mercy, he has given us new birth again into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance
that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.
(1 Peter 1:3-4 CSB)
DEATH LEADS TO NEW BIRTH
Birth and death, the beginning and the end — or is it? Many years ago, Jesus was born in Bethlehem to a virgin named Mary. Joseph, a poor carpenter, was His adopted father. His birth was a miracle and a big step down for Him.
As a tiny babe
Jesus the Light of the world
Came to set us free
He left all the glory of heaven and took on the form of a human, yet He was still fully God and fully man. Later, at the age of 33, He was cruelly put to death.
This was no surprise to Him because that is why He came. The only way to achieve atonement for the sin of mankind was for Him to die.
Jesus died, but death was not the end. He rose gloriously on the third day and made salvation possible for us all. Even though it was cruel and seemed like the end, His death was a new beginning. Because of His resurrection, death leads to new birth.
GIVING BIRTH TO MY FIRST SON
On November 25, 1990, at the age of 38, I gave birth to a son. He was a joy and a blessing to all of us — me, his father, and his four older sisters.
When he was 10 years old, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. The prognosis was not good. We were told that many MD sufferers need a wheelchair by age 12 and only live to be 20 years old or less. Undaunted, we were determined to get help for him as best we could. At that time, however, not a lot of assistance was available.
Years passed, and he did well for a while. During the last few years of his life, however, his health failed. Finally, in September of 2019, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. We knew his time with us was short, but we were still full of hope.
DEATH LEADS TO NEW BIRTH WHEN YOU KNOW THE LORD
Our son celebrated his 29th birthday just five days before he died on the evening of November 30, 2019. We were blessed by his life — he was such a gift to us for those years. As I think about it, he was only 4 years younger than Jesus when he died.
Death leads to new birth when you know the Lord. Our son is now in no pain but full of joy and delight in the presence of His Savior.
New Life in Jesus
Jesus, Lamb of God
Leaving heaven’s splendor was
Born in poverty
Lived a sinless life
Sacrificed and gave Himself
So we could be free
Bursting from the grave
Victorious over death
Offered us new life
Loving Lamb of God
Lord of Lords and King of Kings
DEATH LEADS TO NEW BIRTH – A BRAND NEW LIFE
Though we miss our son terribly (He left a huge hole in our lives.), we rejoice that he is with his Savior, whom he loved. We know we will see him again when we step through that passageway from death to eternal life. Until then, we will keep him alive in our hearts, treasuring all our memories of him and his time with us.
Death is not the end. No, death leads to new birth and a life through all eternity with Jesus (as well as with those loved ones who have gone before).
Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Son, a guiding light in times of darkness. His resurrection provides a beacon of hope for us all. Please enable me to discern Your Presence, to see You, to recognize You in the many small ways You show Yourself. Help me to know Your gift of hope as I make my way on this journey of grief. For others who suffer the pangs of grief or endure the pains of chronic illness, may Your comfort cover them. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Have you experienced new birth in Christ Jesus? (John 3:3-6)
- Christ’s death and resurrection gives us hope, carrying the promise of eternal life. Have you claimed this hope? (I Peter 1:3-6)
- As you grieve your loved one, treasure your memories – perhaps by creating a special photo album, maybe by writing a poem, or possibly by planting a bush/tree (or flowers) in his/her memory.
Adapted from Birth and Death, New Life Ahead. Published by permission.
Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team
A grandmother but young at heart, Gayl enjoys exploring creativity through writing, poetry, nature photography, art, crocheting, and piano. She loves coffee, tea, chocolate, and jeans. Gayl has been married to Steve for nearly 50 years, with 7 children and 14 grands (some have chronic illnesses, and one son is now with Jesus). Always learning and writing from her heart about life, her desire is to know God better, glorify Him, and encourage others. She blogs at Words, Photos and Art.
Grieving & Hope Devotional
There are times in our lives to mourn and grieve, but it is so important not to lose hope. For those of us who know Jesus, we cling to an everlasting hope. Grief is something we must work through, and it cannot be rushed.