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Death: Two Views (Blame God or Be at Peace)

Feb 10, 2015
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Over the first couple of days last week I visited by son in Virginia in the area I lived until last fall. During the visit I took the opportunity to say hello to others that have been important to me.

I had timed the visit to coincide with a meeting of the ostomy support group in which I was involved prior to the move. After the meeting, a several of us went to a local restaurant to talk and have fellowship. One of the people there (who went the restaurant) is someone I had talked to previously about God and the things of faith. Apparently, he had had some test results earlier in the year that made him think that his cancer was returning. Fortunately, it was more of a scare than a true warning (the readings may have crept toward concern, but actually stayed within normal range. But he was mad at God all evening. At one point He talked about the ‘obscenity of death’ and wanted to confront God and call God to account for his (my friends) trials. There was not one there who had not had a very personal time of uncertainty, either in their own self, or since some were care-givers, the possible death of a loved one. My friend himself had his wife accompanying him. We all knew the what he was feeling.

I commented that for believers, however traumatic the transition may be, death is a beginning. It may be quite correct to fear the process of dyeing, but actual death is not to be feared. To look forward with joy and anticipation is quite appropriate, as long as one does not then try to hasten the process. It is also a beginning for the unbelievers, but a beginning of a very different existence. I have, and continue to pray for this individual specifically, as well as every one of my friends in the group.

While we were in the area, my wife and I also went to her sister’s house and while they were off doing their thing, I talked with my sister-in-law’s husband.

He is also going through his own cancer related trials. He said that several times when he was undergoing chemo therapy, he felt that he had one foot on the ‘other side’ but recovered. He is a believer, and his response to what felt like imminent death was to be at peace. In all likelihood he will never be free of his cancer, but his response is not to blame God, but to be at peace.
 

bobinfaith

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Hello Siloam;

I read your thread twice and this relates to men and women that have shared with me who are believers at different levels in their faith. Some are able to bear their spiritual or physical illnesses with joy because they look forward to eternity with God.

Others are still afraid, depressed or angry with God because of their current condition and not thinking of the bigger picture in relationship with Christ. I found that preaching to them was not the way to go at the moment, but being there and just listening with compassion would go a long way with them, which is what I feel you did for your friend.

In my personal testimony I had an ankle boot for my right foot and diabetic shoes perscribed this year and it "scared" me. I played ball growing up and now, all the "what ifs" filled my mind. I feel it was understandable at first but got a grip. I'm still adjusting to this new physical stage in my life but am grateful God has been with me the whole time during this transition and have accepted it with peace.

Thank you for sharing Death: Two Views (Blame God or be at peace.) It helped me think of the health of many of our friends, my wife and myself.

God bless you and your family, Siloam.
 
Feb 10, 2015
767
934
93
Maryland
Sounds like your talking about Job
My friend is not a believer. He was using god as a personification of everything that is out of his control. He feels morally equal to any god there may be (to his way of thinking, God has no authority unless he concedes such to Him). Job, on the other hand, believed in God and Gods ultimate authority. Job felt that if he could just plead his case, the Lord would side with him.

This was a short part of our conversation that night. Another of my friends looked down the table and said “you have been gloomy all evening… could you lighten up?”

For myself, my impulse is to try to find something of comfort, but it is no kindness to be upbeat when a friend is making decisions that could determine his place in eternity. So I pointed out that things do not have to be that way. I believe he got my point, that for a believer, death is not such an altogether evil thing, and he knows my belief regarding how to change things.
 
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Feb 11, 2019
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My friend is not a believer. He was using god as a personification of everything that is out of his control. He feels morally equal to any god there may be (to his way of thinking, God has no authority unless he concedes such to Him). Job, on the other hand, believed in God and Gods ultimate authority. Job felt that if he could just plead his case, the Lord would side with him.QUOTE]

Actually was talking about Jobs friends, and don’t think Job’s friends were believers either since they too thought they were better then God and was trying to persuade Job to do the opposite of what God wanted
 
Feb 10, 2015
767
934
93
Maryland
just listening with compassion would go a long way with them, which is what I feel you did for your friend.
Yes, just giving him a chance to talk as he wished about his health as well as other things was a good thing for him. I would also like to highlight that my wife gave his care giver (his wife) a time away to think of other things and have light conversation, as well as talk about things from her perspective.

In my time with others who have gone through this, I have come to really appreciate the ones that are care-givers and provide emotional support as well as practical services to those going through challenges. They go through them together.

One of the reasons I was able to keep from despair was my wife bore the worry ang grief for me. I found out later that although she was cheerful and helpful in my presence, she would go out into the woods and bawl. I was able to not worry about things was because she did, and because of the trust I have for her.
 
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