Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4
The reality of death, and what it might be like to die had never hit home for me before. Over the last three weeks, I watched as the shadow of Death--gaunt and ugly--slowly consumed my darling grandma. With sunken eyes and blank stares, He taunted. "There is nothing you can do."
I never had the occasion to keep a bedside vigil with one who had come to life's end. Thankfully I wasn't doing it alone. But I prayed for Grandma, sat with her, kept her company, and tried to ensure her comfort. All the while, attempting to ignore the darkness encompassing her shrinking frame.
Though she no longer spoke, was too weak to move much, and her eyes rarely opened, she was there, mind in tact. Her beautiful soul remained trapped in a failing body waiting for the angels to take her home.
Death may be inevitable, and for some, untimely. But I am eternally grateful that it is not the end. Because of the life of Christ, death has been trumped. It may mock us until the grave, but no longer has the power to do so after. What a wonderful gift of hope from God, and one we don't deserve.
Because of the birth, death and resurrection of Christ, death is nothing more than a shadow that passes over us, no more threatening than the sunset. This Christmas season I will bask in that triumph over the grave as I reflect with awe upon the incredible love and sacrifice God poured into humanity. May we never forget it.
What are you celebrating this Christmas?