Removing the Stinger

“But when the perishable will have put on the imperishable, this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, 'DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

Last weekend was, in specific ways, a difficult time for Joyce and me. For one thing (speaking for me), I felt very old. When I am among people ten years older, and I am the “decrepit” one, I tend to feel old! When older people feel compelled to assist me [and I need it], I tend to feel old! When people who were kids when I was a young adult have retired, I tend to feel old! Who knows—maybe I am old, even if I refuse to admit it! [No way—when I am old, I will know it (maybe)!]

It was a difficult time because three friends died. One was a friend for 35 years with no children, a husband who died years ago, and no siblings. The second was a friend who blessed us for 47 years. He left a family who loved him dearly. The third was someone we only had known 12 years, but we loved and appreciated deeply—as did many of you!

  • We were not surprised at Wilma Brummet’s death.
  • Dr. James Carr, at 95, was one of those persons you expect to keep living.
  • Retha Wood was a shock! She died so quickly! She blessed us so much with her faith, her humor, and her kindness. She was the type of person you want to say, “No! You can’t die! All of us need you too much!”

    One of the difficult things in physical life is saying “good-bye” to people we love and appreciate. Nothing makes that easy—not words, not distractions, not anything. The more we love and appreciate, commonly the more difficult death is.

    Years ago I heard of a person who spent hours catching wasps and taking their stingers out in order to play a practical joke. He scared some people silly who imagined they were in danger.

    In Jesus’ death and resurrection, God took death’s stinger out—no joke! Death is a time of grief for the physical. However, death leads to resurrection for those who die. Never forget we focus on life! Never forget we are resurrection people. Bottom line, that is why we place our hope in Jesus Christ! The danger was real, but God took care of it.

  • David Chadwell

    West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
    Bulletin Article, 12 April, 2009


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