John 12:24 “unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies it produces many seeds.”

The “Valley of the Shadow of Death” takes many forms. The Greek word for “death” in the New Testament can also be used as a word for “separation,” or a “letting go.” 

So many of us have had our lives upended. Things will never really be the same. Many of us have experienced the death of a dream, a loss of a job, separation from loved ones; or perhaps had to give up a role that was satisfying and purposeful.  And grief is the appropriate response to death of any kind. 

But the Bible says as believers in Christ we do not grieve in quite the same way as most people.  This is because we can grieve with hope. Hope makes all the difference. (I Th. 4:13) 

For a believer, death is never the final word. Rather it is the beginning of something better, something eternal. Listen to the Apostle Paul as he says in Philippians 3:8ff, “What is more I consider EVERYTHING a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. “ If loss leads to experiencing Christ there can be no comparison.

When Martha met Jesus on his way to Lazarus’s grave, she said to him, “if only you had been here, my brother would not have died…”
And Jesus responded with one of his great “I AM” statements, 
“I AM the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies and whoever believes in me will never die.”

The resurrection of Lazarus demonstrates Jesus has power over life and death. And he can bring life from a dead dream, an empty relationship, a final goodbye, a change of plans, a job loss…

He is the great “I AM.”  Trust in Him to be your resurrection and life.
 

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