Living In A World Of Oxymorons And Contradictions

Several weeks ago as I was going through what seemed like endless mounds of paperwork and life insurance policies, I happened upon a strange term: death benefit. I had an immediate dislike for these two words. Really…..death BENEFIT??? It kind of makes me sick at my stomach to think about it. I am benefitting from my husband’s death? Just doesn’t quite express what I’ve been feeling……I feel NO benefit from him being gone. The term really kind of makes me angry…….I feel many emotions on a daily basis, but benefit is NOT one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very thankful for the way Greg provided for our family while he was here, and how he made provision for our future should something ever happen to him. I am thankful that while he was here, he made wise decisions about an unknown future. I am thankful that he loved the kids and I so much, that he made sure that even though he is no longer with us, he is still providing for us. It’s just that this term seems like such a major oxymoron or contradiction to me. The more I think about it though, the more I realize that there is one who is benefitting from Greg’s death….and that is Greg. He is no longer sick or in pain. He no longer has to be poked and prodded and X-rayed. He no longer has to take tons of toxic medication. He now has a new and glorious body. He has finished the race that was set before him and he is in the very presence of his Creator. I’m thinking that is DEFINITELY a benefit!!

As I have thought more about this “contradictory” term over the last week or so, I have begun to realize that right now, my life is full of contradictions. For instance…how can my life be completely changed, yet I still trust in the One who never changes? How can I feel so totally defeated, yet know that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus my Lord? How can I be living in such tremendous grief and sorrow, yet still have a joy deep in my soul that can never be taken away? How can I feel so totally hopeless, yet still cling to the One who is my Hope? How can I struggle with anxieties, and fears and sleepless nights, yet still have a peace that passes all understanding? And how can I feel so very lonely day after day, yet know that I am truly NEVER alone? The one-word answer to all of these questions is the same….JESUS! Without Him, I truly would be always changing, completely defeated, overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, utterly hopeless, drowning in anxiety and fear, and totally alone.

Which leads me to one more thing that seems to be a contradiction. How can life come from death? And I realize that this is what Christmas is all about. At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’ birth. Jesus was given life in the form of a child in order that He might grow up and die for us. The whole purpose of His life was death. And the whole purpose of our death is life! For us, as followers of Christ, we have made the decision to die to ourselves and live for Him. And, when this earthly life is over, our life is really just beginning! When we die and enter our heavenly home, we will be more alive than we’ve ever been! I think this is what the Word means when it says, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” In this situation, I rejoice in the term “death benefit!”

The days are hard and the nights are long, but in this Christmas season (and always) I am thankful that my children and I are not alone. He is Immanuel……God with us!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claudia Voigt
    Dec 19, 2013 @ 16:04:49

    We DO have life because of Jesus Christ’s death! You’re always an inspiration even amidst your sorrow! Thinking of you every day, so I was glad to read this update.



  2. Kim
    Dec 19, 2013 @ 18:07:53

    Sandra, how true the feelings we have for people that merged into our lives along the way. From youth to graduation to marriage & children, they are a part of our lives & everyday activity. When they are gone from us it’s a mind boggling experience, most importantly to where we turn our faith & trust. Faith, like an insurance policy is there to protect & help but cannot prevent bad things from happening. A wise investment in a policy coverage helps us to pick up the peices of a loss & restore some normalcy to life but doesn’t promise to restore what was lost, just assures us it understands what we lost & does it’s best to help us recover. When faith is tested & loss is great, the question is, where do I turn? to who or what have I invested my trust & put my faith? Faith is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to go on when fear is present.
    Prayers & love to you & your children.



  3. Faye
    Dec 19, 2013 @ 18:49:19

    Yes, there is something very solid and comforting to know and rest in an unchanging God who loves us with an unchanging love who will always be there.
    Thanks for bringing my mind back to this place…especially with all the stress of a season that’s meant to celebrate life and rest!



  4. Bethany Johnson
    Dec 20, 2013 @ 00:09:48

    I pray that you will feel God’s presence in the midst of the oxymorons and contradictions this season. I love your writing! Your words seem inspired by the Holy Spirit as share your feelings in light of the truth of God’s word like no one else I know. I pray you will be blessed for taking the time to put your feelings and thoughts in writing as much as I am (we are) when we read them. Thank you for the privilege of walking through this difficult journey with you. Love, Bethany



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