After writing my earlier post, Sovereignty, I thought more about how often we get angry with God when someone we love dies. I sincerely understand the feeling, but I think the anger comes from a misconception of Who God is and what His plans were for us from the beginning.
God’s plan for us from the beginning was to be in relationship with Him. In Genesis, we read about God walking in the garden in the cool of the day calling out for Adam and Eve. This was clearly something that happened often because they weren’t shocked or afraid of His presence. They were only afraid and hid from Him because they broke the only rule they had in the garden – not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
He told them when He gave them the rule that if they did eat the fruit they would die. Then satan came along in the form of a snake to tempt them. They told the snake the rule and the consequence of death. satan basically told them God was a liar and that they wouldn’t die. He said they would, instead, become like God knowing good from evil. So, Eve took the fruit, ate it and then gave it to Adam to eat. He was right there with her and didn’t stop her from initially eating the fruit.
They chose themselves over a life with the Creator of the universe. They wanted to be like God and, instead of gaining more, they forever changed the most intimate and important relationship they could ever have. Because Adam and Eve and all their offspring would now know evil and would constantly have sin as a temptation, they could no longer stay in the Garden and commune with God, walking and talking to Him. God can’t look at sin.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
But God knew the choice was going to be made to disobey Him and had planned before He even created us how to save us through His Son, Jesus Christ. He had this plan because His desire is still to be in relationship with us. Because He wants a relationship with each of us, He gave us free will. To be forced to be with someone is not a relationship. That would be slavery. He has never and will never force us to love Him. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are no longer separated from God. His death on the cross and resurrection have made us flawless. All we have to do is make the choice to follow Him and accept Christ as our Savior. We then are guaranteed the Holy Spirit guiding us through this life and eternal life in paradise with God.
In God’s plan, death is not the end but the beginning of a life that never ends in Heaven, where we will again be able to walk and talk with God and commune with Him. When we choose to have God in our lives there is nothing to fear in death. We will still feel the pain of losing the one we loved, but our goodbye’s are not forever. I can’t begin to say I understand why certain people die and why others don’t in different circumstances, but I know the future is history to Him. His perfect sovereignty works everything for good, even the sinful choices we make and even the death that comes from that first choice to know sin. He knows everything that is ever going to happen. But He never planned to have us separated for long. He wants to be able to gather us all into His arms to be with Him forever and to be reunited with our loved ones.