1 Corinthians 15:12-19
In the dimly lit room, my daughter sits on the edge of the bed, holding her mother’s hand. Death is approaching soon, and her mother becomes restless.
“Are you afraid?”
“I don’t know what it will be like.”
They talk about how no one knows what it will be like. Then our daughter remembers how her mother would sit on her bed when she was a little girl frightened by the latest thunderstorm or scary thought. “You taught me to say, ‘What time I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee’ (Ps 56:3). You taught me how to choose faith over fear.”
They traced those times in her mother’s life when she had faced new experiences with no certainty of what lay ahead: when she got married, when she became a parent, when she grieved the loss of family and friends, when she moved and joined church congregations she didn’t yet know but grew to love. In each situation, her mother had put her trust in God and chose faith over fear. God cared for her in every new experience. And in that moment, they felt assured that God’s love would lead her through the next steps into the life beyond.
Paul says, If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied (v. 19). For Paul, belief in Christ’s resurrection dispels all uncertainty about whether the God who is our hope through this life will be lovingly present for the life to come.
When you think of the inevitable experience of death, which has the greater influence on your thought: faith or fear?
God of life and love, in your mercy grant me the assurance of your caring presence through all the days of this life and in the life to come. Amen.