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The Dash In Between.

Since time began, every human on the face of the earth began with a start date (birth) and an end date (death).  What shows up in between is a dash … standing for the life between the start and finish.  We see the dash in obituaries and on grave markers all the time.  One thing’s for sure, no one ever knows how long that dash is going to be. The end of life can happen in an instant at any time.

Take for instance the recent Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore. You can’t predict tragedies like that. People get up and go on with their lives every day without a thought that that one particular day would be their last. Just like the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001; no one saw it coming.

My own brother was taken from us suddenly in 1975.  I received a phone call on a beautiful Saturday morning letting me know he had been killed during a hunting accident. Our family’s world turned topsy turvy.

I don’t have to tell you that tragedy can strike anywhere at any time.  We hear it on the news and from our friends and family every single day. My question is are we prepared for it?  None of us know what a day will bring. Indeed, we all live with a measure of uncertainty; we cannot be prepared for every trial that comes our way. In fact, the one thing we can all count on is the certainty that life will end. Dying is one reality for which we must prepare.

Your answer to your inevitable death affects both how you live and how you deal with death. Jesus not only conquered death but also made a way for you to conquer death, too. Even though your physical frame will fail you, when you believe Jesus is the resurrection and the life, death simply becomes a transition, a passing from one realm of life into another.

One challenge which faces believers regarding death is not simply to prepare ourselves for its imminence but also to learn how to help others face it. No matter the situation, though, Jesus’ words provide the foundation for loving counsel. We are to speak both biblically and honestly, explaining the reality of eternity and the hope that is found in Him. Our words, echoing Christ’s own, should not be abrupt or unfeeling but filled with wisdom and grace.

You cannot know how to live until you’ve settled the question of how to die. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, but eternity is guaranteed to every follower of the one who is the resurrection and the life. You can prepare yourself—and your friends and loved ones—to meet the day of death with calm and confidence rather than with fear and uncertainty by holding these precious words close: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25) Yes, Lord, I believe this.

I think the bottom line about life is to value each day of life we are given. Life is precious, so make that dash meaningful!

Debby Efurd is co-founder of Cary John Efurd Ministries of Pittsburg, TX. She has been a contributor to Bound for Life and written numerous articles published in LifeNews, Christian Post and the Baptist Standard, and is the author of Go Tell It!  Debby can be contacted at  

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