The Sting of Death PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Hawkes   

The Sting of Death


I have a brother-in-law who is a likeable kind of guy. He’s spent most of his adult life serving others as a pastor both here in Canada as well as in Hong Kong and Africa. His last name is Birch. For a number of years he used to write a column for a leadership magazine called “Birch Bark” which was not unlike this papers “Pastors Point” column. In it he would touch on world events as well as things he was pondering in his own life. ‘Used to write’ is the operative word because at age 68 he has been told he has days and possibly weeks to live. Cancer has overwhelmed his body.


In my calling as a pastor I have observed many people as they approach death and begin the dying process. Some are courageous and appear settled in their thoughts, others rail at God and the unfairness of what they perceive to be death coming much too early. Others struggle emotionally, worrying about those they will leave behind. Sometimes they can’t get past the anger stage and unfortunately leave a trail of sadness and unrest for the loved ones they leave behind.



Now while there is a great deal of pain an mystery in death, there are also some critical things that we can  be sure of.


Did you know that each of the days you have on this earth have been numbered by God before you lived one of them? Did you know that the very hairs of your head are numbered and that the God of this universe knows each time a sparrow falls out of a nest? Do you know that this same God has experienced death? Did you know that His love for us is so great that that He sent His son to die to take the sting out of death? Because of this great act of love He knows the agony of losing a much loved one? The Bible is full of these incredible statements of love and concern for each of us here on earth. The most incredible thing is that He is preparing a home for all those who accept His love and realize the His Son died so that we don’t have to experience the permanence of death. We who know and love Him don’t fear death. The process of how we will die may make us quiver a little but we trust completely in God’s amazing love and care for us.


My brother-in-law knows God personally. You might think “that is a bold a statement", but he does, and he is not afraid of dying because he knows that God said when we “are absent from the body we are present with Him.” We will be very sad when he leaves this earth and will miss him greatly. But, we know that this separation is only temporary, we will see him again one day when we get to heaven. This is one of the great truths of Scripture that fills the Christian with hope. Death does not win. Separation is not forever. There is hope in our grief.


Don’t take my word for it. Pull that bible off the shelf, dust it off and start reading. The Gospel of John would be a great starting point. Another option, check out a local church and ask some questions. It is possible to have a relationship with the God of the universe and have hope both in life and in death.


Oh death where is your sting? Oh grave where is your victory? Thanks be to God He has given us the victory through Jesus Christ His Son.