Yesterday night, while you were probably sleeping, my mother-in-law slipped quietly out of life and into Death’s arms.
Death, for Cheryl, came gradually. We had some time to prepare for him. About two months. Unwanted, he sort of quietly crept over Cheryl, gaining momentum as the weeks went on. He wasn’t an obvious character in the room, but occasionally, he gave us intimations that he was indeed there. Waiting.
I don’t think he knew when he would be allowed to take her, but he seemed patient to wait. The doctors and nurses and therapists worked hard against Death. Cheryl, too, fought alongside. We prayed against him. Thousands prayed against him. But he kept coming. And ultimately, he was allowed to take her from us.
That’s what I saw, the other night. I rushed into the hospital room to see a beautiful woman, enveloped in Death’s horrible intruding arms. My brain screamed, NO! She wasn’t yours to take. You had no right! This is not right! Death disregarded my screams. He smugly took no notice of me or the others in the room. He had what he came for.
But then, in that very awful moment when Death took her. The moment he was finally allowed to snuff out the life she had with us. Something miraculous happened. Something I couldn’t see, but sensed. In that very instant when Cheryl seemed consumed with Death, Victory exploded within her.
Although unseen, Victory had always been there, given to Cheryl by Christ. Less obvious than Death, Victory, too, had patiently waited his turn. And when finally released, he burst forth within her, swallowing Death completely.
Cheryl now holds Victory’s powerful hand. Her encounter with Death has been completely forgotten. Death no longer has power over her. She is changed. She is imperishable. She is dressed in radiant immortality. She has inherited the kingdom of God.
All while you were probably sleeping.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
1 Corinthians 15:55
For further reading: 1 Corinthians 15:35-58