Lately I’ve been walking through some really, really tough stuff with several dear friends of mine. I’ve heard all of them, sometimes repeatedly, cry out to God for death. Sometimes out of physical pain, sometimes out of emotional and mental anguish, but all the time out of coming to the end of themselves. Their screams to God are harsh to the ears and have been heavy on my heart. It is impossible to not cry alongside them in their pain, frustration, and confusion. More than I care to count have I sat within the midst of their ashes with them as we’ve sobbed out to Christ together.
The hurt is real. The cry is real too. These dear ones certainly want death. They are at the point that death seems the only answer.
What is crazy is that in every.single.one of these cases… God has answered them.
The Lord has, indeed, killed them.
I’ve seen it happen, right before me eyes. Their prayers were answered. They’ve died with me sitting right there next to them, sometimes in my arms.
Little by little, the pieces of themselves decayed and rotted away- putting to death all that was evil and sinful within them. God has crucified their flesh, burned away their sins, purified through fire and water their souls. These women certainly died… in every way one can die and still stay on this side of heaven.
These deaths have been REAL. They’ve been painful, they’ve been filled with screams, terror, blood, sweat, and tears. Great sadness and grief occurred. Loss was involved and identities changed. Death- of any kind- is always hard and it always hurts. It is never easy.
And yet each of these sisters is alive. To this day they have breath in their lungs and blood pulsing through their veins. They LIVE! Out of their anguish and prayers for death, God in His great mercy answered their prayers… and yet not in the way they were wanting or expecting… He answered better. He answered more completely. He killed them that they might finally live.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galations 2:20 ESV
These women are new creations. Some are not even recognizable anymore because of how completely the Father has changed them. He radically killed them in order that they may live. What a savior! What answer to prayer!
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:3-11 ESV
What a marvelous Savior we have. Only God could answer our prayers for death and bring life to us at the same time!