Have you learnt some bitters lessons in a painful way before? Have you ever lost a dearly beloved one before? When death suddenly and unexpectedly lays its icy hands on someone that is so close and dear to you, how do you feel? Anytime death knocks on the door of any family, it takes away just anyone without showing mercy. What were the worst lessons you learnt from death, grief and losses in life? Death has ruined many families, destroyed many lives, made many lives useless and shattered many great dreams.
I lost my father when I was very young and the pain and that worst feeling of losing my dad at that tender age wasn’t something easy to contend with. As a pastor, burying the dead is not something that I like but that is part of my ministerial duties. It saddens my heart to bury the dead at the prime of their ages. But wait a minute! Have you ever thought about the lessons that death, grief and huge losses taught you in life? In this article, I will go deeper to look at the lessons to learn from death, grief and losses. In life, it is the worst times that teach the hardest truth than the days of happiness and good times.
Lessons to learn from death, grief and losses in life
1. Life is too short: Life is indeed short. You cannot have all the time to yourself. Today you are here and flourishing and tomorrow, you may be no more. No one seems to have more time in life or little time. God has just given each and everyone enough time that will enable you fulfil your purpose on this earth. To one person, 30 years is enough to achieve his or her destiny while to another person, 25, 85, 90 and even 100 is enough to accomplish one’s purpose on earth.
2. Death is inevitable and a forceful journey without choice: The saddest lesson and truth here is that, no one can escape death. It is an uncalled-for journey that everyone has to take without knowing when your journey will start. When I was writing this article, I sat down to really analyze and think through this thing called death. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have no option worrying about it. The only thing that concerns me is the salvation that I have in Christ and making all efforts to make sure that it is secured. Once you are born of a woman, you do not have any choice to avoid death; it becomes part of your human race.
3. Tell people about the love of Christ upon the least opportunity: One of the lessons I have learnt from death is to make conscious efforts and tell people about the love of Christ and His ability to save them upon the slightest opportunity I have today. You have no idea when that person may die and depart. Sometimes, your timely message can give someone hope and a new life. Tomorrow may be too late. Make that attempt to speak to someone about Christ while you have life now.
4. Do good to people when you have the opportunity
If there is anything good you can do for someone then it has to be for the living but not just the dead alone. Do not allow people to suffer and die and only throw away money to organize luxurious funerals for them. All your helps may not be seen but let the person feel your impact and bless his or her life while the person is alive but not when the person is dead.
5. Today we call them the dead but, tomorrow we shall be like them:
One of the biggest lessons to learn from death is that, today we call those who have transitioned into the next silent phase of life as the ‘dead’, ‘dead bodies’ or ‘the late’ but we shall be like them soon. The fact that today, you are strong, alive and okay does not mean that you are far better off than the dead. You are still alive by grace. When the grace period is over, death becomes your next expected brutal guest.
6. Death ends all opportunities of mankind
The moment you breathe your last and die, all opportunities cease for you. Opportunities are for the living but not the dead. If there is anything to be done and done very well, then it is the living that can maximize such opportunities. The moment one dies, everything comes to a halt at once. Learn to make the best of life for a time is coming that you cannot do anything about life. A night is coming when no man can work or do anything in life (John 9:4). The story of the rich man and Lazarus teach us a lot about expired opportunities that cannot be accessed again (Luke 16:19-31).
7. Some things are not accepted after death
One of the biggest lessons to learn from death, grief and losses is that, some things are not accepted after death. You can also read the list of things not accepted after death. The moment you die, you cannot do anything about some things. I am sorry, I didn’t know, forgive me and give me a second chance are not accepted the moment you die. These are expired opportunities. No amount of pleading or begging can ever give you that opportunity. Abraham told the rich man that once you die, you cannot cross from the dead to the living (Luke 16:19-31).
8. Make good use of your time while you have it and the strength
Visit the mortuary, the ICU in hospitals and the cemetery and you will realize that some people died too young. Was death fair to them? The Bible says time and chance happens to all people (Eccl. 9:11). God gives everyone time and chances or opportunities. If you do not make the best use of your time while you have the strength and the energy today, you will later regret it.
9. Your talents are not needed in heaven but on earth
Hear me loud, your talents are not needed in heaven. If God has given you some potentials, gifts, skills and some talents, know that its purpose is to benefit mankind through your usage. If you do not use your talent here on earth, you will face judgment tomorrow and you will not have anything good to account and say about your stewardship to the LORD.
10. Avoid procrastination. Whatever you want to do, do it quickly.
Make haste when the sun shines. Procrastination is the thief of time. You cannot tell how much time you have but you can also tell how much you use your time to benefit mankind.
11. Enjoy your life on earth
A time is coming where man cannot do anything for himself. One of the biggest lessons to learn from death, grief and losses in life is to have the grace and the power to enjoy what you have suffered to acquire in life (Eccl. 5:19). More hard work and a little enjoyment here and there keep you balanced in life to ward off depression and its attendant challenges.
12. There is no work again after death. No device in the grave
Eccl. 9:10 says that “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom”. If you have anything to do in life and about your destiny then it is now. According to Eccl. 9:10, the biggest lesson to learn here is that, the benefit of planning, knowledge and wisdom are only seen on earth but not in the grave when you are rendered powerless and helpless.
13. After death, there is judgement
Heb. 9:27 says that “And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment). You can decide to live your life anyhow you want it but remember that the life you live today is a borrowed life; you will be asked to give account tomorrow about what you did with your life, talents and skills. Remember that there are consequences of living your life anyhow.
14. Life on earth is temporary but life after death is eternal
Everything in this world is passing away. There is no one thing in this world that will last forever. The only thing that can last forever is the salvation you freely receive here on earth before dying.
15. Death is an enemy and a friend at the same time.
Death is an enemy but it is also a friend. Why? Your best friend may know and desire the best for you. Your best friend may advise you and sometimes lead you to where you are celebrated and elevated in life. Death does not only kill people but take them to their father, the LORD of Host where you will be celebrated and crowned in life. But to the unbeliever, death is an enemy, it cuts your life short and take you into eternal torture and damnation.
16. When your time is up, you can die by any means. When it comes to death, it is not a matter of how you die but where your soul goes is what really matters. When your time is up, your departure is not really the case but the destination of your soul is what matters.
17. Plan for your exit: Many a time, some people die only for their surviving spouses to pass through terrible troubles in the hands of in-laws and have to put up tough spirit to meet and fight the family members of the deceased spouse. While alive, ensure to write your will, clearly define and register some properties in the name of yourself, spouse or children just to avoid unnecessary drama when you finally die.
18. Your possessions cannot save you: I have seen the rich and business tycoons suffer a lot and struggling to have life when death is snatching their breathe from them. Their money could not save them anyway. In life, your possessions can give you some level of respect and all the praises of men but the day you die, there you will realize that even the abundance of your wealth is a cause of a sleepless night.
19. Forgive and make amends with your wrongdoers:
How long can you hold grudges against people? For how long will you keep nursing the pains and hurts of the wrong doing of some people against you in your heart? If you do not learn to forgive, you may die in pain and bind the peace of some people in hatred. Remember, Jesus Christ taught His disciples to forgive those who trespass against them as they also ask God to forgive them their sins.
20. Children die and adults too also die
It is not only the aged who are tired of living their lives that die but children too also die. No one knows when life will end. No one knows when death will come knocking on the door. No one knows when the unfortunate will happen to cut off all hopes and destroy the beauty of the present and the future. If you have the opportunity to live then live your life very well.
21. No amount of tears can bring back the dead:
The loss of a dearly beloved one is so painful to the extent that, no amount of words used to comfort you may heal the heart, restore hope and replace the huge loss in life. Sometimes, people may wish that God looks at the tears being shed and have mercy on them but God is not moved by tears. He is moved by His own word and plans for your life. It is a bitter lesson to learn from death, grief and losses in life.
22. Learn to accept your losses, death and move on in life
Sometimes, some people are hard hit by the loss of a beloved through death and the pains, losses and the troubles they go through could be too much to the extent that it may have a negative toll on the person. Other people also find it too difficult to reconcile with the realities staring them in the face. If you do not accept some bad news, encourage yourself and move on in life, you will experience stagnation in life.
23. You can’t fight God and His will
Life is full of so many twists and turns. Your worst life scenario may not be the hand of the devil at work but God Himself at work with a different and an unfamiliar method. When the wife of Job was not able to cope with the realities of death, grief and huge losses staring her in the face, she said to Job to curse God and die (Job 1 & 2). Cursing God and dying calls for renouncing your faith, denying God and disrespectfully insulting His abilities disappointedly. Job answered his wife and said: “Should we accept only good from God and not accept evil too?” (Job 2:10). Having life, wealth and opportunities are the doing of God and at the same time, God may be behind the troubles you are going through just to strengthen you.
24. If you don’t die today, you may tomorrow.
Sometimes, we may fall sick, have terrible accidents and give testimonies amidst singing for the deliverance of God. Oh yeah, we thank God for that but the fact that we miss death today does not mean that we will miss it forever. God has drawn His schedule, that is the appointment you have with death. When it is your turn, you will surely go. For it is appointed onto man to die once and after that face judgment (Heb. 9:27).
25. Fear your decisions and choices about eternity instead of death
Any decision you make today about where to spend your eternity is more important and fearful than death itself. The one that decides to accept Jesus as LORD and personal Saviour still needs to work on his own salvation with fear and trembling. You do not have the luxury of time to do whatever you want in life and later repent and go to heaven. You may not have the opportunity to repent one day.
26. Catch a revelation through death, grief and losses in life
From Genesis to Revelation, God used worst and terrible times in the lives of people to reveal His personality, character and so many mysteries about Himself to mankind than in good times and happiness. As you reflect on the worst events and what God can do, comforting yourself with scriptures and waiting on the LORD, you will experience a divine encounter and have the realities of your Christian life manifest in a glorious way.
27. See the other side of the issue:
After shedding the endless and bitter tears, see the other side of the worst death, grief and losses that have hit the family. Ask yourself: “What lessons can I learn from this untimely death, grief and losses in life?”. As a pastor, blogger, author and a counselor, I have written so many articles, books and many quotes by just simply looking at the other side of the issue. Is there any message that the LORD is telling you through this case? Is there any book that you can write from this? Those who only focus on only one side turn to miss the blessings and directions of God. You are not too far from becoming the bestselling author if you can see from a different perspective instead of the one-sided way you are looking at the issues of life. That music could be a big time if you pay just a little attention.
28. Death is a reminder of the wages of sin: Christ has paid our debt and redeemed us from the guilt and penalty of sin but we cannot continue to live in sin. That will be disastrous and may forfeit our salvation. For this reason, Apostle Paul advised the church to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.
29. Death is the penalty of sin and death is also the remedy for sin: Sin brought death to live in the human race and the death of Christ is the only remedy for sin. Just as death entered our human, so does God used of Christ to end the penalty of sin. Jesus Christ died that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
30. Death is no respecter of persons – It teaches all to be humble: When you see the end of mankind in the mortuary or in the cemetery, there you will know that pride is just emptiness and wealth becomes meaningless to the dead. The man that lives in mansions and lives in affluence will not have a different grave size than the poor man that cannot afford a square meal in a day. It is all about the same 6ft grave.
31. The death or loss of a dearly beloved one teaches you the value of people: Sometimes, you may never know how important some people are until they leave the scene and are taken away by death. Many people wish they have another opportunity to express their love to the dead but it was too late. When one dies, you may know the true value and the actual space that person occupies in your heart. Many people are fond of celebrating the dead than the living. That is good but the dead may not see it; your good testimony and the huge money you are spending for the burial service could have been used for medical bills and that person may be living by now. Learn to value and appreciate the living than the dead.
32. Regardless of how long a person lives and dies, people only remember how you made them feel: Learn to treat people very well; the hearts you wound and hurt today may be too fragile and too weak to hold tomorrow. How you make people feel in life is very important. Learn to treat people very well because many are the people that are hurting on the inside but wear smiles walking on the streets as if all is well.
33. Do your best each day: Live your life doing your very best each day knowing that your tomorrow may never come at all. The life you have today is yours and tomorrow may not be guaranteed. Let no laziness, procrastination and anything waste your time. Anything that wastes your time also wastes your life; for your life is equal to the time allotted you by God. Keep your hope alive; do not be discouraged but fight ahead and do your best for you have no idea when death, grief or huge losses may come chasing your life.
34. Someone’s death is another person’s breakthrough: The position you are occupying now is what someone may be fasting and praying to occupy in life. The opportunities you have now may be what someone is scheming, plotting and using all forms of devilish means to takeover from you. Whether in the religious circles or not, the death of someone gives opportunities to other people to climb higher in life. In Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah said in the year that King Uzziah died, he saw the LORD seated on the throne and His glory. Sometimes, the death of someone leads to the glory of another person. The death of someone could lead to the marital breakthrough of another person. There are so many mysteries surrounding death. You may never understand the ways and the plans of God for your life.
35. Death will expose all hidden secrets: A few years ago, I attended the funeral and burial service of one of our church members. This brother has been very instrumental and became a key player in ensuring that we have quality music on Sundays and during any other church service. As we were all sad for a life cut short in his early thirties, we were only taken aback when the brochure for his funeral was shared to us. In the brochure were his wife and children. Apparently, this brother was living with a woman and fathered two children with her without the knowledge of the church.
I was not only taken aback but a bit worried because all the years that I have been praying for him to get married, he never told me that he had a woman he was living with and even fathered children with that woman. Whenever I told him I was praying about his marriage, he only looked at me and smiled. When death knocks on your door, you cannot keep on hiding, pretending, faking and doing anything under cover again. The Bible says that God will bring all secret things into judgment. You can hide it from men but not from the God that sees all secret things hidden under the earth.
Death can teach you a lot of lessons in life. If you are not dead yet, know that it will come one day or sooner. Live your life to please God and not mankind.
Dear LORD Jesus, teach me to number my days and apply wisdom to live my life to please only you. Guide me on the right path in order not to deviate from your plans and purposes of my life. Protect me from any form of attack from the enemy. In Jesus Name, I pray, AMEN.
Before you leave, don’t miss this article: 5 Things Not Accepted After Death