I've Been Thinking / Spirituality

Reflections on Psalm 116:15

I was reading the Amplified version of Psalm 116 this morning and verse 15 struck me, reverberating through my heart and mind. “Precious and of great consequence in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones… So he watches over them,” what can this mean, I wondered?


I looked up “precious” in the dictionary. Here’s what I found: –


“ of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.
{as in}“precious works of art”
synonyms: valuable, costly, expensive; invaluable, priceless, beyond price.
greatly loved or treasured by someone.
“look after my daughter—she’s very precious to me”
synonyms: valued, cherished, treasured, prized, favorite, dear, dearest, beloved, darling, adored, loved, special
“her most precious possession”

Precious to God


If we are “precious” to God then we are of “great value,” “not to be “treated carelessly” or to be “wasted.” He “cherishes, treasures, and prizes us.” We are His “ favorites,” His “dearest, beloved, special” and His “adored.”

How wonderful, to be valued, and loved.

Yet in this verse, “precious” is connected to death and dying so it gave me pause.

Death – the enemy


For us, death is an enemy, the adversary.


We see death as an anathema to a life fully lived, a robber of potential. It is a detonation, a bomb that explodes and destroys youth and old age. It is painful, devastating – a separation, a ripping away.


And yet, this verse says that the death of those whom God loves means something. It is of “great consequence” to God. If we are precious and of great consequence, then there is no “waste” in God’s economy. Each last breath breathed out is a complete life, no matter how short or how long.

How can this be?


This is puzzling – how can there be a complete life when a life is measured only in a few hours, days or is shorter in years than normally expected? How can this be true?


What about the lives that drag on – an interminable agony, or those who no longer experience conscious knowing, no sense, no cognition?


So much mystery, so much that is incomprehensible.


Can our broken hearts find comfort in knowing the deaths of those that we love fulfill some unidentifiable paradox?

Never meaningless


Can we eek out solace in knowing that death is never, ever meaningless? Know it is always closely attended to – this loss is of great consequence to the Almighty, to the Sovereign, Inscrutable God.


And that this very God, who loves with infinite, complete and eternal care is the Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief. That He weeps with us and that He notices every tear, that He stores and collects our tears in a bottle.


I am not looking to put a band-aid on the great wound of death. Yes, we have hope if we believe in eternity. But death, oh how it stings, and only the great Reunion on heaven’s shores can truly take that sting away.


Is it possible to make sense of the senseless, order from chaotic and biting loss? Perhaps not, at least not in the here and now. We cannot know the whole story this side of heaven.

Wanting comfort


Yet, we want clarity and peace, we want kind comfort. My hope is these thoughts will be like taking a sheet out of the dryer. It is wrinkled but warm, so shake it, fold it a couple times and drape it over your shoulders. Wrapped in warmth, feel comfort. But, more, more comfort, please – weary and sad crawl into the arms of God our Father. Dear friends, let Him rock you in His arms. 

 
He whispers, tender, gentle yet, strong, “My child, beloved one, I love you – you matter. You are precious in my sight, you have value. What you do and how you live can never be wasted. Every moment counts. Those whom you have loved and whom you love still, are with Me; together we exist in endless glory and their lives have infinite, never ending meaning. Those whom you love are precious to Me and of great consequence. Always and forever. Rest in this precious one, rest in Me.”

Mystery

So, as Jacob did, we wrestle, knowing that our questions and struggles are safe with Him. That He always, always, hears our cries. He is present, Emmanuel, God with us. He will never leave or forsake. We can move closer, listen to the whispers of His Spirit.

As much as we can – we lean into the mystery. We choose to trust Him, even if just for this moment and then the next. For His promise is to guide and lead us on this journey as baffling as it may be.

And He has promised to carry, sustain, and be our grace for each minute, each hour, each day. And He will never let us go.

Then, One Day –

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:4 New International Version (NIV)

And finally, those we have loved and lost we will see once again.

Author

judy.g.gibson@gmail.com

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