"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
These very profound words had such an impact. As our Pastor was preaching he began to cry. He said that as he studied this passage, the realization of his mortality grabbed him. He wrestled with the fact that he really wanted to see his children grow up. He wanted to be here with his family. And yet, the scripture teaches that to die is gain.
Day by day, as we each walk the pathway we are to go, life just seems to keep going. Until we are stopped in our tracks with the lose of a loved one or friend. It is then that we start thinking of the "other side".
7 years ago, on a Sunday morning, during the middle of a raging hurricane, my BFF lost her battle with cancer and walked into the arms of Jesus. I have missed my sweet friend all these years, but on Sunday the Pastor's message brought a sense of peace to my heart. You see, Diana was such a special friend. She walked beside me for almost 20 years, encouraging me, always with love and a smile. It is selfish of me to want her to be here, when she has gained so much more. As she reached out her hand that Sunday morning, she left behind her tired body to walk with Jesus. I can almost picture her in my minds eye, looking back at all of us and saying, "It's all right, I'm whole now."
Mark 8:35 states: “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it” (ESV).
Jesus Christ offers you the greatest freedom - in learning how to die, we learn how to live.