by Jim Henry

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The Darkest Valley? Death
Jim Henry
Psalm 23

Let me ask you to think back for just a moment. Do you remember the first time that death became a reality to you? I mean the first time as a little child you thought about it. The first time it became a reality to me was when my great grandmother was dying and I realized something very solemn was happening as I stood by her bedside and held her hand in some of the last few days of her life. I realized that something different was invading my life that I didn't know anything about and it was casting a spell of hurt and sorrow in our home.

I remember a little bit later when I lost a dog-a dog that I loved very much and that dog died. Though it was an animal, I felt the sting and the separation of death. You probably have some memories of your own that go back to your past and you can remember when death became a reality.

Frederick Buttener, in his book Open Heart tells about Antonio Parr who has gone to a Brooklyn cemetery to say good-bye to his sister Miriam. He is standing at her grave weeping and he said, "Suddenly either a squirrel or a bird in flight got his attention and I was awakened to the fact that what had happened to Mirria was going to happen to me. At that moment I got a lesson in life by the grace of God. No, it was more than a lesson; I had a collision with life and death."

Somebody has said that there are two things that are certain in life and that is death and taxes. You have heard that before. Not really, there is only one thing that is certain. Sometimes people beat out the tax, but you will never beat out the reality of death. C. S. Lewis said, "War does not increase death--every generation dies--it on, speeds it up." George Bernard Shaw said, 'The statistics of death are impressive. One out of one people die." Billy Graham said, "If we are in a battle concerning the reality of death, it is important for God's people to confront it, learn how to deal with in dealing with their own death ...

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