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Sunday, May 28, 2017
Not One Sparrow - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 28 May Sunday
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Psalm 116:15
My mother, so dignified and proper her entire life, now lay in a hospice bed, held captive by debilitating age. Struggling for breath, her declining condition contradicted the gorgeous spring day that danced invitingly on the other side of the windowpane.
All the emotional preparation in the world cannot sufficiently brace us for the stark reality of goodbye. Death is such an indignity! I thought.
I diverted my gaze to the birdfeeder outside the window. A grosbeak flitted close to help itself to some seed. Instantly a familiar phrase popped into my mind: “Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matt. 10:29 nlt). Jesus had said that to His disciples as He gave them marching orders for a mission to Judea, but the principle applies to all of us. “You are worth more than many sparrows,” He told them (v. 31).
My mom stirred and opened her eyes. Reaching back to her childhood, she used a Dutch term of endearment for her own mother and declared, “Muti’s dead!”
“Yes,” my wife agreed. “She’s with Jesus now.” Uncertain, Mom continued. “And Joyce and Jim?” she questioned of her sister and brother. “Yes, they’re with Jesus too,” said my wife. “But we’ll be with them soon!”
“It’s hard to wait,” Mom said quietly.
Heavenly Father, this life can be so hard and painful. But You! . . . You are right there with us, loving us, keeping us, holding us! And You promise never to leave us or forsake us.
Death is the last shadow before heaven’s dawn.
Part of the emphasis in today’s reading is the value God places on every human life. When we face the death of those dear to us—or our own death—it is a comfort to remember how deeply God cares for us. In fact, the psalmist accentuates this assurance, saying, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants” (Ps. 116:15). Amazing—the eternal God is concerned about the human experience of death. Though this death is the consequence of our rebellion and fall, God offers us His life so that even though we will inevitably face physical death Jesus promises, “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25–26). This shows that His promise to always be with us extends through this life and beyond—even surpassing death. How can this comfort us as we face the passing of loved ones? As we face our own mortality?