Day 4

Mortality and Life

from the Mourning and Dancing reading plan


Psalm 103:15-16, Psalm 90:12-17, 1 Corinthians 15:26, Psalm 139:1-24, John 15:9-11, Revelation 21:4-5

God created us as complex creatures, capable of feeling and sensing a whole garden of emotions. Made in the image of our Creator, we can both grieve the wrongs of this world, and celebrate the sweetness of this life.

This 2-week reading plan will lead us through a series of passages from Scripture that examine the seasons of mourning and dancing in the life of a believer. In the written responses here on the site, our writers will enter into this tension, articulating their personal experiences with grief and joy in hopes of freeing you to explore your own. By immersing our hearts and minds in God’s Word, and honestly presenting our laments to Him, may we remember that God is present with us, He is good, and He is faithful.

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Text:
Mortality Scriptures—Psalm 103:15-16, Psalm 90:12-17, 1 Corinthians 15:26
Life Scriptures—Psalm 139:1-24, John 15:9-11, Revelation 21:4-5

I haven’t been all the way around the block. But I’ve been about halfway. Next year marks my fiftieth year on the planet. You see things differently at fifty than you did at twenty-two or thirty-seven. That’s simply the way life is. When you’re younger, death is the furthest thing from your mind, as it should be. But when you’re not so young anymore, life’s saddle starts shifting underneath you a little. Again, that’s simply the way life is. But it leaves you stretched between your mortality and the breathless gift of being alive on this good earth.

So how do you then live?

I’ll share the best advice I’ve found on this (and I’ve about heard it all). It comes from Frederick Buechner: “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

I used to believe those words were just for the young. But now I see them as imperative as we age, because the temptation is to either pretend you’re still nineteen, or become this Eeyore character moping around, waiting for the bitter end. Neither requires faith, much less courage.

Beautiful things will happen, like watching my daughter graduate from high school and aim high. Terrible things will happen, like a back injury that sidelined me for a year, unable to even do a pushup, an injury I sustained acting like I was nineteen.

Beautiful things will happen, like officiating as my parents renewed their vows in a golden wedding anniversary ceremony. Terrible things will happen, like the death of an old classmate taken far too soon, a lady I had a crush on as a boy. Hearing of her death gutted me with strange heartache.

Beautiful things will happen, like receiving a letter in the mail from a couple I helped years ago with a little pre-marital counseling, with a message that read, “Your words meant so much to us that we named our son after you. Just wanted you to know!” Terrible things will happen, like losing the joy of my salvation for a season, not knowing why or what to do about it. Beautiful things will happen, like being slowly wooed again by the Savior who has loved me longer than any other.

A man’s days are like grass. He blooms like a flower in a field, and then fades (Ps 103:15). But one day, death will no longer exist; neither will grief, crying, and pain because the old order to things will pass away (Rev 21:4). This is the deal. This is God’s world. The beautiful and the terrible. This is abundant life.

Don’t be afraid.  

Written By John Blase 

Post Comments (24)

24 thoughts on "Mortality and Life"

  1. Trey says:

    I will seek out his steadfast love to satisfy me when I don’t feel like it. He is the one that will carry me. Not the next trip, not the approval of a person, not my family. He carries me.

  2. Trey says:

    He knows the depths of my soul. His love is satisfying to me. He is the creator of my being. Nothing is out of his reach. He is a comforter.

  3. Trey says:

    I will pray these scriptures for myself.

  4. Trey says:

    That we are so temporary. We are vapor on the earth. But in spite of that God loves us immensely. He has love that we can abide in, rest in, be surrounded by.

  5. Trey says:

    That Jesus has set an example for us of how to follow the Father and how to have joy and abide in his love. Even when we feel dejected, there is love for us, because of Jesus.

  6. Mateo Strang says:

    We “Man” live our full potential with God and the revelation of who the Father is. Knowing him is our purpose and bringing about that truth and sharing our relationship with Jesus is our mandate. To share that is the gospel. No method or step by step process will get us closer to him. Just walking in relationship with him and getting to know him is what we are here for.

  7. Mateo Strang says:

    Man… A created being that’s days are numbered from the beginning in this segment of eternity limited to the confines of time. Man is limited to a life term, but unlimited and without barrier when partnered with his purpose in God. Eternity awaits him.. A place where time and death have no hold.

  8. Mateo Strang says:

    Everything within me wants to know my creator, my savior, my father, and my love. My response will be to allow him to show me what he created me for and to live in that, out of my relationship with him. Not in my confusion or doubt. Not in my fear, or lack of control, but in the renewing of my mind and in self control listening to his every word the best I know how.

  9. Mateo Strang says:

    That His ways are perfect, and his plan is far more beautiful than I could possibly imagine.

    Take a moment and think about, yes even imagine, a Father actually creating and molding his child with great anticipation and excitement. His every passion, dream, desire, skill, personality, and character. What an amazing thought! All this done with a Father’s love that is far more powerful than any earthly father could commit to or recreate, because it’s and infinite one. This all done with purpose and a plan.

    This excites me and gives me hope for not only myself but my family, friends, and the ones I know in the darkest places…

  10. Mateo Strang says:

    Father! My lovely Father! Please quiet my thoughts. Reveal your love and give me the Faith I don’t have, the strength I lack, and the joy I seek. Reveal my purpose so that I can better serve you and your plan for the life I’ve been so graciously given! I love you! Amen…

  11. Brent says:

    Good or bad God is present and knew the path for my life before I we even born. His purposes may be unknown to me right now, but they will reveal themselves later. Who am I to question the God of the universe with my mere 30 years life experience to his infinite existence?! As we raise our children and know what is best for them so is God with us.

  12. Brent says:

    Gospel is true yesterday, today, and for eternity. It is true to in every season even when it’s hard to see, feel, or believe.

  13. Brent says:

    We can expect to experience both the beautiful and the awful and that is what makes our lives worth living. This experience is to shape us in to the person God desires is to be in order that he be given all glory, honor and praise.

  14. William Pierce says:

    Although the original design was without death and terrible things, God didn’t leave that out of the plan. Knowing the future His plan for salvation was created that we could experience and love Him, and eventually be with Him again forever.

  15. William Pierce says:

    We’re going to experience the worst pain and the best moments of our lives. Everyone will because that how life goes, but those of us who have hope are not, and should not be afraid of death because it only gets better from there.

  16. William Pierce says:

    It’s a work of God in restoring us to perfection. Restoring us to perfect community with, and perfectly knowing and loving, God

  17. William Pierce says:

    By not shying away from the worst times of my life, but using them to share and relate with other people so they too can see Christ’s love for them.

  18. William Pierce says:

    For faith and perseverance in the hard times and the good times. Never forgetting that my life is safely guarded in heaven by our God who loves me. Being thankful for the times of laughing and mourning and praying that God would help me use those to share His love with everyone I meet.

  19. Nathan says:

    I will obey His word and allow it to change my life. I will trust God when He makes everything new and not be afraid when He calls me. I will live righteously and share my life with others. I will get to know God intimately just as He knows me intimately.

  20. Nathan says:

    We do not know how to live without God’s commandments. We cannot live without some kind of belief or morals leading our lives. We must stick to his commandments and live righteously no matter the cost. Man has no way of living, but God gave us a way to live and we must obey his call.

  21. Nathan says:

    His word gives us a way to live. His word is a life. It’s alive and well and we should take part in it and obey everything that’s in it. We should take the Bible literally and not choose and pick what fits our lives, rather, we should allow it to change our lives. If we follow His word that He gave us we will live a righteous holy life and be free and joyful in His presence.

  22. Nathan says:

    God let me know you more. Let me know your ways and your word so that I may not sin against you. Let me keep your word close to my heart and write your laws on my heart just as you told Jeremiah you would do. Show me new ways and new things for me to get closer to you. Guide me on the path of life and righteousness and open new doors for me. When those doors open help me to make the right decisions so that I can walk through those open doors. All doors that aren’t meant to be open shut them and lead me to open new doors do your glory. Amen

  23. Nathan says:

    God wants us to live morally correct and keep His commandments and to love Him with all of our hearts. He is patient and kind with us and will never leave our side. He knows us more than we know ourselves. He knows every fiber, every thought, every motive of our lives. He wants to know us intimately and we should want to know Him intimately as well. It can get hard doing good, but we shouldn’t grow weary, we should be diligent in His name and obedient and observant to his commands always. He loves us with an everlasting love and nothing can separate us from Him. He is our friend and leads us to greater newer things and don’t be afraid when everything shifts and changes suddenly because God knows what He’s doing and trust Him in all things no matter what happens.

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