6 Lessons I Learned from the Death of a Friend

CC by Wikimedia Commons

CC by Wikimedia Commons

JUST THIS WEEK, I RECEIVED news about the untimely death of a friend. He died of a vehicular accident. He’s only 24. As I am still digesting what had happened to my friend, I started to recount my memories with him. He is part of my closest circle of friends in college. We are like brothers and closer as anyone else. Many messages of grief and sadness flood our Facebook group.

What had happened led me thinking. I can’t help but realize how unpredictable our lives could be. As a result, I want to share these 5 vital lessons that I believe all of us should meditate upon while we are still living.

1. Death is real, unpredictable, and plays no favoritism

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

It is said that death is the great EQUALIZER. Every one is not immune to it. No matter who you are; what you are; and where you are, death is always knocking at the door. A simple mistake can lead to death. Young or old, rich or poor, we will all have to face death. Some of us are given a second chance, but others are not. NO matter how much you deny death, it will eventually catch up.

No one of us has the assurance that we will still be here tomorrow to greet the morning sun together with the living.

2. We must always be ready

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:11-14).

The greatest mistake that you can commit during this lifetime is to go about your life not remembering that one day you will die. It seems that most people live their life as if they will live forever, not even having the urgency to live their lives as they should.

My friend never expected that it was his last day on earth. Like any of us, we wake up each day having plans for the future and the ambition that everything will be alright, until death comes upon us unexpectedly like a thief in the night.

We must all live each day as if it is our last because someday, it will be. The problem with us is that when everything seems fine and alright, we forget the reality of death. It takes another person’s death to remind us how brief our lives are.

3. Invest on things that really matters

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:2-3).

We are humans and as humans, we tend to be more assured with physical things rather than spiritual things. But the truth is, there is an unseen hole in our lives that needs to be filled in with things we do not see.

Does it not occur to you why we close our eyes when we pray, wish, dream, hug, or kiss? It is because the most important things in this life are invisible. The most important things in this world are not things at all. They are the people that make our lives worth living for.

We need to realize that we will never bring the physical things with us when we die. As a matter of fact, have you seen a dying man asking for his car, house, money, properties, and other belongings to surround his death bed? Sure enough, no. But when we are in our death bed, we ask for our families, friends, and loved ones to come and visit us.

When we slowly die, we suddenly realize that all these physical things are useless, vain, and even just cow’s dung (Philippians 3:8). Invest on things that really matter and you will feel more fulfilled when your life ends.

4. Focus on building godly character

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?

Our life is very short. Imagine an average of only 70 years of existence is only nothing but a vapor. We are like the flower that blooms and soon withers away. We need to

While it is not wrong to accumulate earthly possession, we must realize that this is not the end of itself. It should only be the means to achieve our end. This world is our training ground to develop godly character. We need to realize that we are here for a greater purpose. We are not meant to live a life full of comfort, but a life of enduring and overcoming because only then we can be worthy for the calling that God gave us!

5. We need to number our days

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalms 90:12).

Our life is very short. Imagine an average of only 70 years of existence is only nothing but a vapor. We are like the flower that blooms and soon withers away. We need to number our days so that we can be reminded that we are made of dust; we are frail; and we are dying each day.

Our life is like an hourglass with the top portion is covered and only the lower portion is revealed. We know how much time trickled in our life, but we never know how many sand of time is remaining in the upper hourglass.

Nothing is really certain in this life, but death and change. Learn to number your days and prioritize your life. Pursue what is important, invest in relationship, spend more time with your Creator, and be a blessing to others!

 

6. For now, Death is not permanent

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:15-18).

It is comforting to know that death is never permanent. Time will come when Jesus will come here on earth and will resurrect his saints. Death may swallow us now, but Jesus will save us from the sting of death. At that time, He will start the universal righteous reign of God’s Kingdom. No more sorrow; no more tears; and no more death. God will give everyone a chance, from the beginning of human life until to the present, to know Him and become His children.

Final Words

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:4).

Life without pain can be very deceiving and pain helps us to realize that something is wrong. I know that death can be painful, but we should be comforted that in the midst of this tragedy, we can still learn a lesson. God will comfort us, because He is our Comforter in this dying world. Let us all pray for God’s Kingdom to finally be established here on earth. Only then will death and sorrow themselves will be buried into oblivion!

Additional reading:

Jesus Christ’s Life and Death in Prophecy

Jesus Christ and Biblical Writers Compare Death to Sleep

The Mystery of Death

Beyond Today Program:

The Moment After You Die

Free Booklet:

What Happens After Death?

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