Walking in the Valley of the Shadow of Death Session 3 You in the Valley
Walking in the Valley of the Shadow of Death Session 3 Session 3
You in the Shadow of Death
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil…
Death will come for us just like it can for our loved ones, either suddenly or with anticipation. Let’s consider how to prepare for either eventuality.
It can’t be stressed enough, when it is your turn to walk the valley, you will want God with you. As one who has asked God to accept your faith, having acknowledged that death is an inevitability, believing that Jesus is the only one who can secure eternal life for you, and committing your entire life to be a disciple of Jesus, you can face death fearlessly. We have great and precious promises in scripture. The most important preparation for your appointment with death is to be a Christ-follower, to be walking in the light as He is in the light, to be loving God and loving others. Acknowledge, believe, commit, and ask, you will then be able to allow the Holy Spirit to convince you of these great and precious promises. To face death fearlessly you need to be confident that those promises are true.
John 11:25-26 (MSG)
I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all.
In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:
It was sin that made death so frightening
Death does not have the final word. The mortal believer is transformed into the immortal believer. Death is the transition, such an expectation of hope trumps fear. When you anticipate good things about to happen when death comes you tend not to fear it.
There are things in this world to take care of before you die. There are medical and legal issues that the bible doesn’t address. Medically, have an advance directive. An advance directive alerts the medical professionals of the treatments you want and the treatments you refuse. It will save your loved ones from making impossible decisions. There will be a web address to get a California advance directive on our Facebook page and our website, you can google the same for your state. Download it, read it, have that difficult conversation with loved ones, fill it out, and then, get it filed. [https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/consumers/ProbateCodeAdvancedHealthCareDirectiveForm-fillable.pdf ]
It’s best to depart this life for the next with a clear conscience (Hebrews 13:18). If there is an estrangement between you and someone else, work at reconciling it. If there is a need to forgive someone, then cancel their debt. If you need to ask for forgiveness, do it, get out from under your emotional debt (Romans 13:8). Deal with guilt issues. If there is some pain in your life redeem it. Don’t wait. Tie up the loose ends. All you have for sure is this very now.
Live your life to the full now, the Holy Spirit will guide you into living well.
Saying goodbye involves giving thanks and expressing appreciation for the life together well lived. Reminisce with joy in the memories of all those shared experiences. You tell your loved ones how important they are, how they made your life worth living, sorry that they have to walk through this part with you, but so glad for their bravery to be with you. There will be tears but that’s just the price of dying well.
Dying well involves having time to encourage. We encourage people by expressing our faith in them, that they will be able to carry on smartly without you. You have time to bestow blessings upon them, to put your hand on theirs giving them a great gift. You may recite to them their strengths, what you see in them, what you believe about them, what you hope they will do in the future, but especially how much you love them. Tell your kids that you are proud of them. Tell your daughters that they are beautiful, desirable, worth someone fights for. Tell your sons that they are capable of conquering the world. I know that is not very politically correct, but truth doesn’t have to be politically correct.
Dying well also may involve listening to your loved ones. Getting things straight, dealing with issues in the past, time is fleeting to get relationships right. This is time for asking for forgiveness and making things right. This can be so hard, but there’s nothing easy about dying well.
Dying well gives you time to draw closer to God. “The things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glorious face.” “Dying is an invitation to trust the love of God in the face of life’s greatest uncertainty.” (Matthew Levering)
Walking through the valley of the shadow of death is both a lament and hope. A lament is a passionate expression of grief, of sorrow, of mourning that our journey through this life is coming to an end. A hope that the end of the journey is the beginning of eternal life and the parting will be forgotten in the reunion that is to come (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.