28th April 2018

Living With Dying

“While the child was alive I wept. And I did not eat anything. I thought that perhaps the LORD would be merciful to me. I thought that he might forgive me. Then he might let the child live. But I do not need to do this now that the child is dead. I cannot bring him back to me. I will go to him but he cannot come to me.”
2 Samuel 12:22-23 (EE)

Today, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer.[i] This statistic isn’t given to scare or shock people, but rather to acknowledge more of us will be living with, caring for, or supporting people dying from a disease, which might be cancer, or perhaps Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or other illness.

We read in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “You will have difficulties like this. But they are the same kind of difficulties that every person has. God always does what he has promised to do. Remember this. He will not let any difficulty be too big for you. He does not want you to do anything wrong because of any difficulty. He will make you strong. He will show you a way out of the difficulty.” As David and Bathsheba lost their baby in the header scripture, perhaps someone close to you is dying, and you feel you have little control.

We know that God has a plan for each one of us, and it can be difficult to understand why someone close to us is dying prematurely – especially when that person is young! Nevertheless, God has offered us avenues of hope and help.

We can pray, e.g. God lengthened Hezekiah’s life by fifteen years (Isaiah 38:5). Philippians 4:8 encourages us to meditate on positive things; whilst Paul and Barnabas had “their prayers intensified by fasting…” (Acts 14:23 MSG)

We can also give practical help. Something as simple as sending a text or card of encouragement, helping with transport, making a meal, giving someone a break—little things can often make life easier to bear.

In the scripture above, David petitioned God for his baby son’s life. He fasted and prayed. God heard his prayers but did not intervene as David wanted. Is this situation similar for us? Nevertheless, as David petitioned God for as long as the child was alive, likewise, we should persist in appealing to God for his mercy on behalf of our loved ones (Luke 18:1-8).

After David’s son died, he worshipped God. When someone close to us dies, we focus on the effect it has on us, as we go through the necessary stages of grief. Focusing on God at such times can help. God is in charge, always, and though things may feel so difficult and painful now, we can look forward to a time when there will be no more pain, no more suffering, and no more death (Revelation 21:4).

Prayer
Our Father in heaven, we ask for your intervention in the lives of those we love who are seriously ill. Help us to help and support those around us that are dying from an illness. Holy Spirit, use us as vehicles to bring words of comfort and encouragement to the dying, and those close to them. Help us to worship you always.
Amen

Study by Irene Tibbenham

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About the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a Deaconess and serves on the Pastoral Council in the Norwich ed-TG/ed-TG/Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International. Irene’s brother died at Easter time three years ago and his wife’s sister died on Good Friday of this year. Our condolences to Irene and her family. May God comfort and encourage them with his love and hope of the future.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
Martineau Lane
NORWICH
NR1 2HX

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508 498165
Mobile: 07931 580409
Email: tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk

[i] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288916.php

 

 

(ED:tg)

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