Life and Death

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This morning I became aware of some incredibly disheartening news.  I saw an article captioned, “Mother wins case to kill her disabled daughter.”  It seems that lately in our world, bad news comes quite often, and many times I try my best to avoid hearing about it. However, I know that ignorance of the wrongdoings in this life will not promote much change or lead others to the Lord. Reluctantly, I clicked on the link, http://liveactionnews.org/mother-wins-case-to-kill-her-disabled-daughter/, knowing that reading this would bring depression to a so far wonderful morning with my sweet daughter.  After reading, feelings of depression and some deep thoughts were well under way, and I realized that the story needed to be shared.  I have an opinion for a reason, right?

The news of this death along with the story of Brittany Maynard(click this link if you want to learn about her http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/29/health/oregon-brittany-maynard-video/index.html) have made me feel incredibly sad for the way so many people are viewing life and death.  For the mother of Nancy, she sounds like she has a better idea about death, stating that death will bring Nancy peace.  However, she decides to kill her daughter, who apparently no longer has any human rights, and she does so by a brutal death of starvation and dehydration for a total of 14 days.  She was right to say that Nancy is in peace now; I do believe she is.  It’s the mother I’m worried about.  The mother that solely made the decision to end Nancy’s life because she, her mother, could not bear to suffer anymore, because she was done fighting.  I daresay the battle she will be fighting will continue for the rest of her life. She will live dealing with the pain and regret of her choice to kill her daughter, just as any mother who chooses abortion will.  My prayers go out to this mother.  I pray that she will come to know God’s love and great mercy.

This story is truly about life.  And what is life all about?  Dying with Christ, laying our lives upon the Cross.  Though this includes much suffering, we have hope that God will bring us joy, we have faith that God knows what’s best for us, and we have love because God gave us a life to live in the first place.  He first loved us, he knows us, and his plan for our lives is unfailing.

Now for Brittany’s story.  Her story is all about death.  At least, that’s how she sees it, and this is the real problem.  I see no hope in her eyes when she speaks.  She speaks of death as the true end.  When she dies, she has nothing left.  Her family will still be here, and she just hopes that they will be proud of her in her decision to end her life.  She wants her death to mean something to this world, yet we should really be thinking about what our lives mean to God.  She wants justice, pride, and she wants to “die with dignity.”  She wants no one to take away her “autonomy,” yet she is not realizing that God gave her the right to life in the first place.  As I was just discussing this with a friend, I was reminded of Hunger Games.  It reminded me of the way Peeta and Katniss viewed their deaths.  If you’ve read the books, you know how depressing the stories are.  My friend explained that the books were set in a world with no God and no hope on purpose, to display a futuristic image of what a world without religion and hope would be like.  It’s a sad life, one with no meaning.  But our lives do have meaning. There is a God.  There is a Heaven and a Hell. God gave us life.  If we live our lives for Him, then there is no such thing as death.  Then Brittany’s story is not about death.  It is truly about life.  If we follow God’s path, if we live and die for Him, then we approach our earthly death in peace, we endure the pain and suffering, we offer it up to the Lord, knowing that a much greater life is ahead of us. It’s a time to remember how great the Lord suffered for our sins to give us this life in Heaven.

The first reading today was as follows:

Reading 1EPH 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm
against the tactics of the Devil.
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood
but with the principalities, with the powers,
with the world rulers of this present darkness,
with the evil spirits in the heavens.
Therefore, put on the armor of God,
that you may be able to resist on the evil day
and, having done everything, to hold your ground.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,
clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield,
to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One.
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.With all prayer and supplication,
pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.
To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication
for all the holy ones and also for me,
that speech may be given me to open my mouth,
to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel
for which I am an ambassador in chains,
so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.

Can you believe how perfect the Word is? God is our shield. Persevere through prayer.  Put on your armor of God so that you can resist the temptations of the devil! Our struggle is not with flesh and blood! These words are affirmation for both of the situations I’m talking about in this post. Amazing, isn’t it?
I’m going to end with that, as well as with a prayer for the mother of Nancy and for Brittany Maynard.  I pray that they both find the meaning to life, that they fully understand why God gave us this life, that they accept God’s love and mercy. I pray that the mother finds healing one day in her grief and in her struggle.  I pray that Brittany is healed of her brain cancer in this life.  I pray that if it is your will, Lord, you give her a chance to change in this life.  Help her to not be afraid of death, help her to realize that death is not to be a decision that we make.  Help her to give her life to you, to place it in your hands.  Help us all to do just that.  Help us all to appreciate you to our fullness, to love you to our fullness, and to work hard to be better every day to live out your will for our lives. Amen.
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