“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin
Death is pretty much always painful. That is certainly the case with people. When a loved one passes, there is unimaginable pain. There’s grief under which we don’t know how to live. There’s a permanent void, and the ache for something to fill it.
Many of these same feelings surface when other things in our life also come to an end: a job, a relationship, a hobby, a group, school, a chapter in our life.
Have you ever tried to water a dead plant hoping it will come back to life, to no avail? Have you ever poured yourself into something hoping, by your efforts, it will somehow stay alive if you just want it earnestly enough? You hold it desperately in your tightly clenched fists knowing that if you let go, it’s all over. But then it ends anyway. It’s a weird mixed bag of emotions when that happens. There’s relief because you can stop trying, but there’s also a huge sense of loss. It feels like a death. There is suddenly a gaping hole in your life.
If you’re anything like me, whatever it is I commit myself to, I pour my soul into that thing and begin to cloak my identity with it. So when something ceases to be, it always makes me step back and reevaluate who I am without it. I never let it go without a fight – kicking and screaming like a child because it has become so much a part of me that I don’t really want to be me without it. Eventually, though, I have to let the thing die.
But then a beautiful thing happens: there is now room for God to do something new. Not that He couldn’t have done that without the death, but now you’re lost, you’re aching for something to fill this new hole, and inevitably, if you’re His, you finally turn to Him to do just that. He is constantly about making things new. Pruning off the dead and dying so that the new and living can flourish – it can be painful but the result is fruit and our sanctification.
Nothing is guaranteed permanency in your life, save for the love and Spirit of God. Even the earth upon which we walk will one day be destroyed. Why? So that God can make something new. In Revelation, John gives us a glimpse of this: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.'” (Rev 21:1,5) He is making all things new! This means you, too! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17)
We give our time and our heart to so many things in this life, but how many of them are necessary? And how many of them just threaten to eat us alive? What has God called us to carry, and what are we just stubbornly dragging around? What in your life do you need to let die? What has already died but you’re just carrying it around in hopes that it will somehow come back to life? Why is that thing so important? And what could God do if it weren’t in the way? I encourage you to search your heart, dear friend, and ask God what needs to die in your life so that He can do something new. As painful it may be to do so, I encourage you to let the thing die because He’s making all things new! And rejoice that He is still a Masterful Creator!